Wednesday, February 8, 2006
January 28, 2006
Board members and staff of Hood River County School District and the Hood River Valley Parks and Recreation District met Wednesday night for a joint work session to explore the idea of forming a partnership for upcoming projects that may serve the needs of both.
Though both parties favored the idea of a partnership, no decision was made during the session and each has adopted a wait-and-see stance for now.
Parks and Recreation is hoping to build a sports complex that would offer both adult-sized and youth-sized baseball and soccer fields and adequate parking.
According to Mark Zanmiller, Parks and Recreation board member, the reasons new sports fields are needed are: to spread use around and take the strain off of existing fields; provide fields for youth baseball, which is currently dependent on land owned by St. Mary’s Church for its fields, and enable Little League and the high school to host tournaments, which require a level of facility that “we just don’t have.”
Zanmiller also said the parks district needs to address different space and size needs for different ages, and combine soccer and baseball fields onto one site for practicality and easier maintenance.
Partnering with the school district would make it possible to share infrastructure and maintenance costs, according to Zanmiller.
Parks and Recreation has located two possible sites, both in the Odell area. But finding the necessary funds will be a challenge, he added.
According to school superintendent Dr. Pat Evenson-Brady, the district’s priority right now is classroom space, though the situation at the more crowded schools — Westside, May Street and Hood River Valley High School — has been eased by purchasing and installing modular classrooms.
But according to a growth study done for the district last year by Portland State University’s Population Research Center, by the year 2015 the county’s total enrollment is expected to swell by 31 percent (based on a medium growth assumption), which would require 53 additional classrooms.
The school district has been looking for land, knowing that eventually new facilities are going to need to be built, and has found a 25-acre piece of land near Westside School, the Asai property, which is just outside the urban growth boundary. Because it is outside the boundary, nothing currently can be built on it.
According to Evenson-Brady, the rules regarding where schools can be built are so restrictive it makes it even more difficult to find appropriate and available land. Schools may not be built within a 3-mile radius of the urban growth boundary — which would put it in the Odell area.
But her hope is to seek inclusion of the Asai property into the urban growth boundary; and if that fails, build on the existing schools’ athletic fields and move athletic fields to the Asai property.
“That’s our last choice,” she said.
Neither of the properties being considered by Parks and Recreation are appropriate for school buildings, and the Asai land would not have room for both the hoped-for school buildings and a sports complex, so there was no way to initiate a partnership at this point. But if a parcel of land becomes available that would meet the needs of both parties, they will talk again.
More like this story
- Boys lax suffers significant setback in league opener
- Letters to the Editor for April 30
- No on 14-55: But not a ‘yes’ to Nestlé
- ‘Putting your house in order’ returns May 11
- Police Log, April 12 to 24, part 2 of 2
- Sheriff Log, April 17 to 24
- ‘Music at the Dawn’ brings early 1900s to life
- Entertainment Update for April 30
- GOP governor candidates spar in Hood River
- Late rally falls short in HRV loss to Hermiston
Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge