District expects to begin expansion of WLHS stadium, parking in 2021
The West Linn-Wilsonville School District hopes to start construction on a project to expand parking and stadium seating at West Linn High School next year.
The project, one of six that were included in the district's $206 million bond last year, is meant to alleviate overcrowding at WLHS football games and provide a single space where the entire student body can gather.
It also addresses the shortage of parking at the high school, which has long been an issue for students, the district, the city and neighbors in the surrounding area.
District officials, along with hired consultants, presented an update to the West Linn community during two virtual meetings July 16 and 21.
According to John Fitzpatrick, a consultant from Beaverton-based IBI Group, the project will add an estimated 113 parking spaces at the school, the majority of which will be in a new lot northwest of the stadium and accessible off of Skyline Drive.
The district also plans to expand a small portion of the school's south lot.
According to WL-WV Project Manager Remo Douglas, the district is working with the city of West Linn to maximize the number of added parking spots while staying within the community development code, remaining under budget and negotiating the difficult topography of the area.
West Linn's community development code links the number of additional parking spaces allowed with the total number of seats that will be in the finished stadium.
The school's new parking lot, Douglas said, will be in a wooded area of the district's property adjacent to the stadium. The new lot will have one entrance and exit point along Skyline Drive. According to Douglas, a traffic engineer determined a stoplight wouldn't be needed.
In response to a community member's question, Douglas said that most trees in that area will need to be cleared for the parking lot.
"We are looking at how to keep the trees in the immediate perimeter of the development, and even perhaps some of the plants that are in the center, if we can align parking islands and that sort of thing," he added.
As for the stadium, the district plans to add more covered seating on both ends. There also will be an improved, covered section for visiting fans on the opposite side of the field.
Douglas said the stadium project includes upgrades to restrooms and the pressbox, providing better acoustics and power for the announcement system. The district will upgrade field lighting to LED shielded bulbs, which will better illuminate the field without lighting the sky around the stadium, Douglas said.
The district will host a third community meeting, with the Bolton Neighborhood Association, Thursday, July 30.
According to Douglas, the district will submit land-use applications for the project next month. Early next spring, it hopes to put the project out to bid and begin construction shortly before summer break.
Douglas said the work would be done in phases so as not to disrupt school. The district aims to complete the project, which is expected to cost $8.3 million, in four to six months.
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