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Woodburn grants contract to Hellas Construction for the next phase of improvements to Legion Park

PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Legion Park is a veritable multipurpose area, with trails, playgrounds, wooded space, open space, ball fields, a venerable stadium and a shelter. A second phase of the park's improvements will begin in April and include an artificial-turn playing field.The city of Woodburn awarded a contract of $4,004,640 to Hellas Construction for the Legion Park improvement project.

The contract was approved by Woodburn City Council during its Monday, Oct. 25, meeting.

Woodburn Community Services Director Jesse Cuomo said the project will complete the second, and most significant, phase of improvements to the park. Earlier improvements included a new pavilion with restrooms, archaeological themed playground, paved pathways with exercise stations, and an expanded lawn area with irrigation.

Work on this phase is expected to begin in April. It will include removal of the existing grandstands, installation of an artificial turf playing surface, 847 bleacher seats, concrete sidewalks and pads, electrical work, fencing, a storage shed and soccer goals.

Other features include basketball, futsal and pickleball courts, lights, playground surfacing, fencing and a bleacher shade structure.

"Legion Park is our oldest in our system; it was our first park, and in 1910 it was Legion Field, 7 acres that were donated to the city," Cuomo said. "So this is just kind of a continuation of the evolution of that park."COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF WOODBURN - Legion Park upgrades scheduled to begin in April will include an artificial turf field, basketball, pickleball and futsal courts.

Funding for this phase came from several key sources. These include American Rescue Plan Act funding of $1.75 million, $1.75 million from system development charges and a state of Oregon $1 million grant.

While the city's supplemental budget for this year indicated $1.25 million of ARPA funding for Legion Park, city Finance Director Tony Turley clarified that the balance of the $1.75 will be allotted through next year's budget.

"This is an amazing improvement for the community," Cuomo said. "It's going to increase our economic vitality of the location (with) the amount of people that come for tournaments…It creates an increase in the amount of play. The lighting will create a better atmosphere, not only for those players who are playing but also for those in the neighborhoods."

Legion Park improvements have been a goal targeted by the city for more than a decade, and a 2014 park masterplan including the artificial turf field addition.

The project is anticipated to be completed by early August.

"We're hoping that we will be able to hold Fiesta with the August timeframe; that is the ideal timeframe at this time," Cuomo said.

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