New Park Bond proposed for Maple Valley receives enthusiastic support
Community members have longed for more ball parks for years and in an effort to bring that vision a little closer to reality, Parks Director Greg Brown sharpened his pencil and went to work on a City of Maple Valley Parks Bond measure that received a positive nod from community members as well as sports enthusiasts.
The parks bond project will be coming before the City citizens in just a couple of months as a February 2017 ballot item. It will include two projects – the long talked about Summit Park & Ballfields Master Plan as well as a new project idea – Lake Wilderness Elementary School Ballfield.
The Summit Park project will take place on the 14.5 acre Community Park that is currently sitting idle near the new Tahoma High School (THS). This site will include 3 multi-purpose lighted synthetic turf fields, an off-leash dog park, skate park, sport court, playground, picnic shelter, restroom/concession building, trailhead access to Lake Wilderness Trail, walking trails with a connection to THS, and a shared access road/parking with THS that has an Interlocal Agreement between the City and Tahoma School District (TSD).
The second project on the ballot is the Lake Wilderness Elementary Ballfields. This project idea came to the City through a TSD inquiry wanting to know if the City would like to use the 4.3 acre site where the old Lake Wilderness Elementary stands for a park once the school is demolished. The City would retain ownership of the site that would include an Interlocal Agreement between the City and THS giving limited use of the ballfields to the District. Included on the site will be an oversized multi-purpose lighted synthetic turf field with 3 backstops for youth/adult softball/baseball, and a large rectangular space for football, lacrosse, and soccer, restroom/storage building, and shared parking with the new Lake Wilderness Elementary.
In years past, lighting sports fields was of big concern for those living near sports fields. However, with today’s technology better options are available – not only with the light emitting, but also cost savings through LED technology.
When considering the cost of the projects, unlike the more comprehensive parks bond that came before citizens in April with a $22 million price tag, the February 2017 parks bond measure that includes both projects will come in at – not to exceed $14.7 million. Summit Park will come in with a $10.5 million price tag and Lake Wilderness with a $3.7 million price tag with the remainder of the bond going toward bond costs. Impact to homeowners will be approximately $9 per month over a 20-year period or approximately $108 annually for a residence valued at approximately $319,000.
Following passage of the parks bond, it is anticipated that the Summit Park project will take approximately 18-months to construct with the opening in late fall of 2018. Meanwhile, the Lake Wilderness Elementary park project site will not be available before summer 2017 as students will still be occupying the old school until that time. Following demolishing of the old school buildings, the park project can take place with an anticipated 4 month construction t time for completion.
Open Houses are already being planned for December 7th, January 12th, January 24th and February 7th, to inform citizens as well as answer any questions about the upcoming bond. Times and places for the meetings will be announced in the near future as well as posted on the City website at: http://www.maplevalleywa.gov