School board gives architect direction for sports facilities
Last updated 11/17/2021 at 8:42am
What if Lake Roosevelt baseball and softball were played at the same place? What if there were two gyms? What if there was a track around the football field?
After abandoning the costly, $50 million idea of locating all sports courts, gyms and fields at the main LR campus in Coulee Dam, the district’s board of directors spoke with architects about the idea of locating baseball and softball fields at the former middle school in Grand Coulee and building a track around the football field in Coulee Dam. The current tennis court would remain.
The Zoom meeting took place Nov. 10 with NAC Architecture staff presenting preliminary ideas on how to lay things out.
A slide of a Google satellite birds-eye-view image of the former middle school’s field showed outlines of standard-size baseball and softball fields superimposed onto it.
The baseball field would be located where a softball field currently is, with excavation of a hill there required to accomplish this.
The softball field would be located in the middle of what has most recently been used as a soccer field.
The board asked NAC to rotate the fields to accomplish the goal of placing the baseball field’s home plate area near to the softball field’s home plate area.
NAC’s Brent Harding was able to adjust the fields’ outlines on the slide in real time during the meeting to meet the requests and get a clearer understanding of what the school board was hoping for.
Property lines were discussed, as well, so that the tight squeeze of fitting the fields onto district property can work.
The relation of home plate to the sun was also discussed, so that batters aren’t blinded by the sunlight while at the plate.
Another slide showed how a track could be built around the football field in Coulee Dam, with the football field being moved north a ways, into what is currently the baseball diamond, to accommodate for the track.
Having a seating area for lawn chairs was discussed.
Other slides showed options for building a new, 1,200-seat capacity gym.
One option is to build a new gym next to the current gym, replacing the administrative area of the former high school. Other options would keep the administrative area and build the new gym nearby.
In all cases — of the baseball/softball area, the football/track area, and gym area, locations for bleachers, concessions, locker rooms, and wrestling — other considerations were brought up.
The board asked NAC to develop clearer ideas for the facilities from their directions, with better conceptual drawings and an estimated price tag coming in the next week or so.
The new concepts require less excavation of hillsides and would significantly reduce the price tag for it all towards the original goal in the $14 million range, or “ballpark,” if you will.
Federal infrastructure money was mentioned as a possible funding source.