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City swings forward with tennis center plan

Council OKs traffic study for indoor tennis expansion


by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - This birdseye view of the potential design of a new indoor city tennis center illustrates what the building might look like from the southeast.The city of Lake Oswego is pressing ahead with plans for a new indoor tennis center.

On Dec. 18, the city council directed parks staffers to commission a traffic study for the project, at 18011 Stafford Road. If all goes according to plan, the 68,760-square-foot, eight-court facility would replace the heavily used four-court building near Springbrook Park.

“The financials support it,” Councilor Bill Tierney said at a meeting last week, calling the traffic analysis “a logical next step.”The decision followed a presentation of the facility’s likely design and updated estimates of construction costs. New estimates peg the project at $5.1 million, about $300,000 more than initially anticipated but still within an affordable range, said Parks and Recreation Director Kim Gilmer.

Officials hope to fund the new facility with accumulated tennis center funds, growth-related charges paid by developers and a revenue bond, along with $1 million from selling the existing tennis center building. Gilmer said she confirmed the $1 million figure with Randy Sebastian, of Renaissance Homes, who reportedly said the location would be attractive for residential development.

To continue moving ahead with the project, the city needs to conduct some additional traffic analysis, Gilmer said. A study recently conducted to plan for future activities at Luscher Farm set too broad a timeframe to be used for the tennis center evaluation, which will examine traffic impacts on the nearby roundabout at Stafford and Rosemont roads and on the adjoining neighborhood.by: REVIEW FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - This nearly 10-acre site in the Stafford area could eventually be home to a new indoor tennis center planned by the city of Lake Oswego.

“Even without tennis or the Luscher Farm plan being implemented, over a 20-year timeframe that roundabout is probably going to need to be expanded at some point,” Gilmer said. Without more information, it’s unclear whether building the tennis center in one to five years would accelerate the need for its expansion, she said.

The building would sit on the north side of the 10-acre property. The eight courts would be divided into two sets of four, with a circulation corridor in between, and an administrative area up front including a viewing area, a multipurpose room and some office space.

Architect Brian Jackson’s design allows for future expansion to 10 courts. That means additional parking spaces could eventually be needed, although the initial plan calls for 70 spots. Cars would enter from Atherton Drive. Emergency access would be provided from the north side of the property. The new cost estimates take into account building a new sewer pump station connection across Pecan Creek and dealing with environmentally sensitive lands on the property, Jackson said.

The council voted 5-2 to go ahead with the traffic study, estimated to cost $10,000 to $15,000.

Councilors Mike Kehoe and Mary Olson, who opposed the study, both expressed doubts about the need for a new tennis facility.

Mayor Jack Hoffman and councilors Tierney, Donna Jordan, Sally Moncrieff and Jeff Gudman voted in favor of conducting the traffic study, although Gudman noted his vote was “a skeptical yes.”

The existing facility, built in 1974 and paid for with a revenue bond — backed by funds generated by tennis center operations — has long been considered too small. Studies and planning efforts in 1990, 2001, 2007 and 2012 identified the need for more indoor court space, according to the city.

A 2009 study determined that the city could pay for a new tennis center without relying on its general fund, and a 2010 site study identified the city-owned property near Luscher Farm as the most suitable and affordable location. Conceptual designs were also considered in 2010 with some public input.

Concerned previous studies could be outdated, officials requested an updated operations and market demand analysis, presented earlier this year, along with the updated construction figures provided last week.

Officials hit another milestone in the years-long process earlier this month, when the Metro Council approved Lake Oswego’s proposal to bring the Stafford Road site into the urban growth boundary. Although it was already inside of city limits, it was previously swapped outside of the UGB. Bringing it back in is necessary to build a city tennis center there.




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