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District will weigh other options in addition to the Lakeridge Middle School campus

The Lake Oswego School District is open to input in regards to where to house the new pool, according to a statement from Superintendent Lora de la Cruz on Wednesday. This update follows another statement released June 27 in which de la Cruz shared that staff would begin the planning and design of a pool at the Lakeridge Middle School site.

In the newest update, de la Cruz states that Lakeridge Middle School may not be the site of the pool after all.

"LOSD is initiating a process to engage a pool designer/architect. This step is intended to explore possible design options and provide information about the feasibility of the location that the School Board has selected — Lakeridge Middle School," de la Cruz wrote. "The School Board has also indicated that as we move forward with the planning phase of the project we may explore the possibilities of a different location. While Lakeridge Middle School is the best location identified by the District in its inventory, the design phase will determine the feasibility of this or other locations, and will zero in on locations that most likely will maintain the most open space and that will efficiently utilize a particular site. This phase will also include additional outreach during planning to weigh other siting options and the extent to which they are feasible."

There is also the matter of funding. The $187 million bond measure approved by voters in May 2017 included $7 million for updating or replacing the current dilapidated pool, which is in such bad shape that officials decided it couldn't be repaired. However, projected costs for the pool are nearly twice the available bond funding, so the district hopes to work with the city or other sources to close the gap.

"We are coordinating with City Parks and Recreation through our master planning planning effort, all of which will be tested by long range facilities planning," de la Cruz wrote. "Additionally, the pool planning phase will allow us to determine the feasibility and extent of a potential pool partnership, and LOSD will only take the design to a certain point where key decisions will need to be made as related to funding, location, and community impact."

De la Cruz also responded to concerns that building the pool and a new track at Lakeridge Middle School would limit or reduce space for athletic fields on campus. "Concerns have been expressed about potential loss of athletic fields due to placement of a track at Lakeridge Middle School. I want to convey to our community that we understand the importance of athletic fields, and our intention is to work to enhance, replace or, to the greatest degree possible, preserve them, while still meeting our educational goals," wrote de la Cruz. "This is an area in which we intend to continue our partnership with City Parks and Recreation as we all work together to support our youth athletic community."

De la Cruz wrote that once the steps she outlined are completed, "staff will make a recommendation to the school board based on the planning phase, site feasibility, and anticipated funding for the pool. The pool can be scaled to fit the available funding and we will be exploring various options throughout the process."

She also wrote that community members will receive information throughout the process as the district and City move forward together. "This proposed coordinated approach between the City and the District is intended to ensure that our collective resources are put to their highest and best use," de la Cruz wrote. "We are excited to work with the City as our partner in this process."


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