The Lakeridge project is rightfully viewed as a priority
Two of the most precious jewels in our community are our two outstanding senior high schools.
These fine institutions provide wonderful educational experiences for our children, draw our families and neighborhoods together and even support property values for our homeowners.
The Lake Oswego School District has prided itself as an institution committed to offering our children the very best opportunities in the areas of academics, fine arts and athletics; each of which contributes to a well-rounded education. Consistent with these values, now is the time to support our school district in its effort to bring the Lakeridge stadium up to the standards of the 21st Century.
This project has incorrectly been characterized by some as an amenity or a luxury, an assertion that could not be further from the truth. My mother, who is now in her 70s, has been attending athletic events at Lakeridge since the early 1970s. The youngest of her three grandsons still attends LHS. Let me assure you, she does not view shelter from the rain and wind to be an amenity or a luxury. Over the years, she has supported track/field, soccer, lacrosse and football events at the Lakeridge campus (not to mention a long list of indoor events). I even remember her once asking me how the members of the high school band could protect their instruments during one particularly intense deluge.
Lakeridge is the only high school in the Three Rivers League without a covered grandstand and a press box. Such facilities are considered by all other league districts to be the most basic of facilities, and over time these districts have each provided financial support for far more generous projects in support of their children. The LOSD and the citizens of Lake Oswego understood this when they passed the 2002 bond, which included the completion of the LHS stadium in a more expansive format than the one presently under consideration.
That project was cut due to cost overruns related to the high school remodels. The district is now seeking to complete a scaled-down version of that original project.
The Lakeridge stadium project has rightfully been listed as a priority on the LOSD agenda for more than two years now. It has been approved by the city of Lake Oswego Planning Commission and has been endorsed by the Palisades Neighborhood Association (the largest NA in the city).
It is disappointing that some have resorted to using scare tactics by suggesting that the Lakeridge stadium project would be built to the detriment of our younger students and their district facilities.
I personally attended school in the district for a full 12 years, and I also strongly support the needed infrastructure projects currently under consideration at the elementary properties. However, these projects are still in the midst of the normal (albeit complicated) district review process. Once the district has finalized a comprehensive review of its real estate assets, I have every confidence that it will act swiftly to address needed repairs at these facilities. The truth is that this independent stadium project is simply further along in the review/approval process.
To put the brakes on now through the use of divisive tactics is a mistake. Please join a broad range of constituents in supporting this long-overdue investment in our community. Our children deserve it.
Dan Dutton, Lake Oswego, is president and CEO of Signature Graphics, Inc. He is a 40-plus year resident of Lake Oswego, attended schools here, and graduated from Lakeridge High School in 1982. He has three sons (two graduates of LHS, one a sophomore there), all active in lacrosse and football. He was president of Lakeridge Youth Football for five years.Add a comment