Unclear if Snoqualmie Valley Athletic Complex ready in time for 2018 Mount Si Baseball, Softball season

Things are slowly moving forward on a planned athletic complex off SR 202 and 14th Street in North Bend (near Encompass), but whether the complex’s fields will be ready in the spring of 2018 – and in time for the Mount Si High School baseball/softball season – remains uncertain.

The Snoqualmie Valley School District is planning to rent field space at the facility once it is completed as the softball and baseball fields were removed on the Mount Si High School property in order to construct the new school. The new high school fields won’t be completed until 2020, as a final component of multi-year Mount Si rebuild project. Last season the MSHS baseball and softball teams used field space at Bannerwood Sports Park in Bellevue and Ravensdale, a location that required driving through the 90/18 interchange.

In October 2016 the City of North Bend took public comment on the proposed, two-phase athletic complex development that will bring turfed outdoor multi-purpose fields to the Snoqualmie Valley. Most residents were in support of additional field space, especially during the Valley’s notorious wet, dark winter months.

Four combination outdoor soccer/baseball/lacrosse/football fields and the parking lot are scheduled to be constructed in the first phse. During the second phase, three indoor, multi-purpose sports buildings would be constructed.

The North Bend city council signed off on the development agreement with Snoqualmie Valley Athletic Association and Bendigo Properties, LLC over the summer and the company submitted revised development plans to the city in August. City staff are now in the process of reviewing those revised plans.

According to North Bend Public Works Director Mark Rigos, the city still has to follow county and state processes before any permits can be issued for the project, which includes the state-required SEPA (State Environmental Act) process that involves noticing and then a public comment period. He added that these process couldn’t begin until the revised plans were submitted by the developer in August.

The 12 acres of land slated to hold the athletic complex sits in the flood plain, which Rigos said makes building anything more complicated as ground water tables and flood code impact construction requirements. The property also has a creek running through it, and a reduced creek buffer is needed to make the fields fit, which requires examining North Bend’s current municipal code.

Rigos said the city is working closely with the developers and wants to see the complex completed, but that it does have a process to follow. Additionally there are many other development projects within the city currently undergoing the same process.

Realistically, he estimated permits for the athletic complex would be issued this winter. Once permitted, the developer can break ground. Rigos said it is always the developer’s call whether to try to build during winter months.

Athletic Complex Developer and Snoqualmie Valley resident Wende Miller said, “We are determined in our pursuit to deliver these fields and the rest of the facility.  We continue to work closely with the City, however, ultimately they have a process and we don’t have any control over that process.”

When asked if they would opt to break ground during the winter, Miller said they would judge that when/if the situation arises. She said via email, “If we have a winter and spring like we did last year and earlier this year, I think most developers will tell you it was a costly mistake to move dirt at that time.”

Miller reiterated, “Our goal is still to deliver these fields so MSHS is not having to bus their athletes to other jurisdictions and their families don’t have to face the disruption. Furthermore, we have many other local and regional organizations counting on using our fields upon delivery.”

 

Site plan for the proposed Snoqualmie Valley Athletic Complex along SR 202 and NW 14th Street in North Bend.

 

 

 

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