1.7 acres at William Walker school to accommodate $6.3 million expansion

Note: This story was amended to reflect the estimated cost of the Cedar Hills Park expansion, which is $6.3 million.

The Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District has reached a deal with the Beaverton School District to purchase about 1.7 acres of land on the west side of William Walker Elementary School that will help complete the Cedar Hills Park master plan.

In a pending deal between the two public agencies, the park district will acquire the property at 11940 S.W. Lynnfield Lane between Cedar Hills Boulevard and Highway 217 for $346,000, according to park district officials.

The parcel is adjacent to the park district-maintained Cedar Hills Park, which encompasses 10.3 acres. The additional 1.7 acres will be used to complete a 2008 bond measure-funded project to expand and improve the park with amenities, including sports fields, a walking path, a splash pad and community garden.

Construction on the project, whose cost is estimated at $6.3 million, is tentatively scheduled to begin in early 2016 and be complete by spring 2017.

Leaders of the two districts signed an intergovernmental agreement that addresses shared access, shared parking and other issues besides the property sale. The deal is expected to close within the next few months.

The land makes it possible to carry out the provisions laid out in the park’s master plan, said Bob Wayt, park district spokesman.

“We started looking at neighboring properties and saw a slice at William Walker and approached (the district) about the possibilities,” he said. “We’ve been looking at William Walker and talking about acquiring the land for some time, and it finally came to fruition. And we’re excited.”

The park district announced in March it would purchase land from the school district at Mountain View Middle School in Aloha to help create a 20-acre community park. The park district plans to build a multipurpose sports field complex on school property and share the facility with the school district.

“The success of the negotiations regarding Mountain View helped us produce positive results at William Walker as well,” Wayt said.

Jeff Rose, Beaverton School District superintendent, was equally enthused about the transactions.

“When our two districts work together, the community wins,” Rose said. “This is another efficient agreement that will produce real benefits to taxpayers for decades.”

The park district’s plan for Cedar Hills Park includes an oversized, multipurpose, synthetic turf sports field with lights, a natural grass baseball field, a splash pad water play area similar to the one opened last year at Conestoga Recreation Center, play equipment — including a new play structure for the school — permanent restrooms, a picnic area, walking path and a community garden.

William Walker students will have access to the synthetic turf during recess and for physical education classes, while Beaverton School District athletes will have some access to the synthetic turf field during the school year.

Park and school parking lots will be shared at certain times, with improvements planned for both automobile and pedestrian access to the school and the park. Redevelopment of the site will be funded by the park district’s $100 million bond measure that voters approved in 2008.

“We are excited to be able to acquire this property and move ahead with our plan for improving Cedar Hills Park,” said Doug Menke, park district general manager. “Once again, we thank our partners at the Beaverton School District.”

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