It’s a partnership two years in the making between the Snoqualmie Valley Youth Soccer Association and the Snoqualmie Valley School District – one arrived at as both parties deal with growing pains.
For the soccer association, their need is more lighted practice space, especially during the winter months. Currently only Mount Si High School and Cedarcrest High School have lighted fields the association regularly rents during the ‘short on daylight’ winter months.
For Mount Si High School, the need is field space for a growing student population, while also balancing the wear and tear at Mount Si High School Stadium as it serves as a highly used rental field for community sports organizations.
Enter the partnership.
The soccer association began the partnership process with the district about two years ago, offering to contribute $1 million to help upgrade the grass fields to turf at Chief Kanim Middle School, which is a central location for the association that stretches from Duvall to North Bend. They had a couple of stipulations for the large contribution: 1) the field be lighted 2) they have priority usage during their season.
Earlier cost estimates called for the school district to contribute about $300,000 – $400,000 toward the project – in addition to 2015 bond money already allocated to re-sod the deteriorating fields at Chief Kanim.
By 2015 the district had a commitment letter from the soccer association for the $1 million contribution. According to Assistant Superintendent Ryan Stokes at a May 2015 school board meeting, the $1 million was money the association had been saving for 20 years to partner with a community organization to provide more usable field space.
During that May meeting Stokes said the association’s $1 million contribution would be ‘front-funding’ of some rental fees they would normally pay for usage of district fields, as well as for usage preference/priority during the association’s season, with soccer having second usage priority after the school.
The district would then supply the rest of the needed funding to light and turf the multipurpose field, which would be lined for football, soccer and lacrosse.
Scope Change, Costs Increase
Last spring, SVSD started the permitting process with King County for the project – and since then the scope of the project and permitting requirements from the county changed, which increased that needed contribution from the district to an estimated $1.2 – $1.5 million – and increased the total project cost to about $2.5 million.
According to Stokes at the April 28, 2016 school board meeting, King County will require more site work at Chief Kanim than earlier estimates anticipated in order to deal with water run off, treatment and retention. The project scope also changed to use LED lights for utility efficiency, brightness and direction.
The $1.2 – $1.5 million school district contribution range provides for the possibility to add restrooms to Chief Kanim that don’t require field users enter the building. Stokes referred to those bathrooms as “asset preservation” – so that kids in cleats aren’t walking across the CKMS gymnasium floor to access interior restrooms. The contribution range also provides the possibility to add irrigation to school’s other grass fields to help increase their usage and playability.
Assistant Superintendent Stokes said the district’s contribution toward the turfed and lighted field would come from Capital Project funding, including the recently passed school bond and impact fees.
The district and soccer association are currently working to finalize their usage agreement. Stokes stated in late April that the district hope to bring a recommendation to the school board about the project at their May 12th meeting.