Lakeridge deserves its field
- Cathy Shroyer
- Lake Oswego Review - Opinion
Top 10 reasons to change existing conditional use permit for Lakeridge High School:
1) The original conditional use permit CU2-69 issued in 1969 allowed for a stadium at LHS with 2,350 permanent seats on south side of the field and 1,100 seats on north side along with lights, a PA system, and all other 'stadium amenities.' Having a stadium was a reasonable use for a public high school back then, and it is still a reasonable use today.
2) Lakeridge High School was built before any homes were built nearby. (there's a great aerial photo if you're in doubt). The 'we were here first' argument cannot be made by neighbors and is not true.
3) Although approved, a stadium was not built at LHS because the superintendent at the time suggested that both high schools could share the LOHS stadium in an effort to save some money (it had nothing to do with traffic, noise or lights). Even though we have a fun, healthy rivalry now; everyone at that time was a 'Laker,' so the thought of LHS playing all its home games at LOHS didn't seem so bad. I think it's fair to say that even the best of intentions can be short sighted and a bit naïve.
4) Current neighbors of LHS feel deceived because years ago they were promised that the field use of LHS would never increase. These promises, albeit genuine, are only valid for a moment in time because in the world of land use planning, conditional use permits are moving targets, with the ability to change at any time to reflect the needs and wants of a community.
5) We only use the LOHS 'District Stadium' five to six times times a year for home varsity football games. All other sporting events like soccer, lacrosse, track and youth football are held at LHS. We should have facilities befitting a 6A high school (adequate, covered seating and bathrooms, a concession stand, PA system, etc.). Our athletes and coaches are expected to compete at the 6A level against schools more than twice our size. They're doing their part to carry on Lakeridge's 36-year winning tradition and the least we can do is give them a 'home' that meets their needs and one they can be proud of.
6) Hosting home football games and large sporting events creates a sense of community. Having facilities our students, athletes and parents can be proud of creates a sense of civic pride. The current conditional use permit restrictions are negatively impacting our sense of community and civic pride and must be changed.
7) LHS has gone without adequate, even basic facilities, for long enough. From 1971 to 1999 (28 years) there was no seating and no lights. For 34 of 36 years, there were no real bathrooms, only port-a-potties. To this day we still have no concessions stand, no sound system and we are not allowed to use our high school in the same way all other high schools are used. We are a 6A high school, yet there are middle schools with better facilities … enough is enough!
8) Safety and traffic problems are valid neighborhood concerns. The Lakeridge community has shown it is willing and able to comply with measures aimed at addressing these concerns and we are committed to doing so in the future.
9) The Laker community would love to have its stadium back. They don't like this ridiculous arrangement any more than we do. It's been an unnecessary and unfortunate source of tension in this community for far too long. (PS: we will need Laker support at city hall!)
10) The stars have aligned, the fat lady has sung, pigs are flying and hell has frozen over. The Lakeridge community is organized and is willing and ready to work with neighbors, the city and the school district to give our kids what they deserve … a home they can be proud of and call their own.
Cathy Shroyer is a 39-year resident of Lake Oswego, a proud Pacer parent and an alumnus of Lake Oswego High School, Class of 1981.