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Despite still needing additional funding, LOSD begins planning and design of pool

PMG FILE PHOTO - The school district announced Thursday that it would move forward with designs for a new pool at Lakeridge Middle School.The Lake Oswego School District will move forward with the planning design process of a new pool facility on the campus of Lakeridge Middle School, according to a letter issued by superintendent Lora de la Cruz Thursday.

"The process will utilize recommendations and information that has been gathered as a springboard to our next phase in the pool design, which will include hiring an architectural firm to help flesh out potential designs and costs," wrote de la Cruz. "This effort will build off of the master planning effort for the Lakeridge Middle School campus, and will also consider the options resulting from the concurrent master planning of the Lake Oswego Junior High, Uplands, and Lake Oswego High School campuses."

The planning thus far has been done by the Superintendent's Pool Task force, in cooperation with district's Athletic Task Force. The first Pool Task Force meeting was held in October 2018, and they completed their recommendations April 1.

A $187 million school bond measure approved by voters in May 2017 included $7 million for updating or replacing the current dilapidated pool. However, early cost estimates showed that the district might need additional funding for the pool beyond the $7 million allocation, thus prompting officials to reach out to the City of Lake Oswego about a possible partnership. De la Cruz's letter referenced both the school bond and a City parks bond that passed in May as "an opportunity to improve parks, open spaces and district facilities and sites."

The district and City held a joint meeting in April, but no agreement was finalized.

The City's Parks and Natural Resources Advisory Board is currently working on recommendations for how to use the estimated $30 million in park bond funds, and will present those recommendations to the City Council July 16. According to Park Board Co-Chair Bill Gordon, the top four priorities identified by public feedback thus far include a swimming pool, athletic fields, trails and a recreation center.

De la Cruz wrote that she hopes to continue to collaborate with the City in the pool process and throughout her tenure. "As we move forward, district and City efforts will proceed in parallel and collaboratively," she wrote. "The goal is to regularly inform and include our stakeholders in the process while equitably delivering improvement projects across the school district and City."

While the design and planning work will begin, de la Cruz wrote that there will continue to be input from the community. "To ensure that all stakeholder groups are heard from, we are planning a robust stakeholder engagement process so we can have input from LOSD athletics staff and community groups (youth sports, adult sports, etc.)," wrote de la Cruz. "As we move forward, we will be weighing options through a collaborative process that seeks input and perspective from the various user groups."


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