WL-WV wins Metro approval for Advance Road property

Offering thanks to the city of Wilsonville for its support, West Linn-Wilsonville School District Director of Operations Tim Woodley announced Oct. 11 that Metro had voted to expand the urban growth boundary to include a district-owned parcel of land known as the Advance Road site. by: SPOKESMAN FILE PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - With the district's enrollment models predicting the addition of more than 300 middle school students to the Wilsonville area over the next few years, building a middle school is the districts priority.

The regional government’s decision clears the way for the district to begin the early stages of planning for construction of two new schools in Wilsonville.

The two-hour hearing at Metro headquarters in Portland included discussion among Metro councilors, each of whom raised questions and voiced concerns. Woodley and Keith Liden, a planning consultant representing Wilsonville, responded. Wilsonville Mayor Tim Knapp spoke of the partnership between the city and the school district.

Metro Councilor Bob Stacey offered a counterproposal, according to Metro. Although he acknowledged the need for a new middle school in the area, Stacey offered a plan that would have expedited approval of school construction at a nearby site in the Frog Pond area, where the district owns 25 acres that already are in the UGB. Metro’s own rules prohibit development of the site, which is part of a larger, 100-acre parcel, until the city develops a comprehensive plan for the area.

After the five other Metro councilors in attendance indicated that they would not support Stacey’s proposal, he withdrew his proposal and made the motion to approve the UGB expansion. The motion carried with a 6-0 vote; one councilor, Carlotta Collette, was absent.

Because no members of the public spoke against the proposal at the hearing, an appeal is unlikely. Once the appeal period ends, the city will make plans to annex the property into the city. At that point, Woodley said, the district will subdivide the 40-acre property and convey deed and title for a 10-acre parcel to the city for development as a city park. The district is exchanging that property for the site where Lowrie Primary School is situated.

WOODLEY“With this action the district now has confidence in having an almost ‘shovel ready’ site for planning the middle school,” Woodley said. “I can’t tell you how pleased I am at this outcome. This has been part of our long-range plan for many years and positions the district well for the future.”

The district currently operates three primary schools, Lowrie, Boeckman Creek and Boones Ferry, one middle school, Inza R. Wood, and a high school in Wilsonville. Located next to Boones Ferry Primary on the west side of Wilsonville, Wood is above capacity with close to 700 students and has been using portable classrooms since 2007.

With the district’s enrollment models predicting the addition of more than 300 middle school students to the Wilsonville area over the next few years, building a middle school is the district’s priority.

Construction of the middle school and, eventually, a primary school, will have to wait, however. The district’s current capital bond is nearly fully spent or committed; the bond will expire at the end of the current school year. Currently, no formal decisions have been made about asking taxpayers to support another capital bond for the school district.

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