City seeks details on campus plan

A schematic design presentation delivered at Broadway Middle School in December.

With a new year, the Seaside School District took a second shot at bringing their new campus within the city’s boundaries.

The district went to City Hall on Jan. 8 seeking passage of Ordinance No. 2018-01, perhaps the biggest administrative step toward construction of a new school campus. The ordinance would bring 89 acres into the city’s urban growth boundary, providing services including roads, water and other infrastructure.

The campus, approved by a $99.7 million bond vote in November 2016, will be built on 89 acres, 49 of those formerly designated as county forest and 40 zoned residential.

Although councilors voted on a version of this ordinance in 2017, the revised ordinance includes new language, boundaries and site details.

The property, rezoned as institutional-campus, would be withdrawn from the Seaside Rural Fire Protection District and included in the city of Seaside for fire protection. The campus would be included in the Seaside Road District and receive both police protection and water from the city.

Councilors had questions about traffic, infrastructure and the disposition of school-owned properties.

Councilor Tita Montero asked how the district will meet increased city infrastructure costs for roads, water, fire and public safety.

“The district anticipated system development costs,” Seaside School District Business Manager Justine Hill said. “We anticipated our share for increased water, increased sewer.”

The cost of a water tank to be installed on the property will be shared by the city and the school district, she said.

The tank will replace two outdated water pump stations, Public Works Director Dale McDowell added after the public hearing, including the 1940s station at Sunset Heights and the 1938 station at the bottom of Underhill Road.

“We are very excited about a new water tank,” McDowell said. “This is something that has been on the construction long-term for many, many years, before the school district decided to move up there.”

Montero voiced additional concerns about potential traffic issues at the new campus site.

Hill said traffic and road improvements are under discussion with the public and among the construction team.

An open house for neighbors of the new campus, including residents of Spruce Drive and Cooper Street, was held in December, she said, and community meetings are scheduled in Seaside and Cannon Beach. “We’re hoping that community members come and talk about their concerns, so we can build a campus everybody is happy with,” Hill said.

A meeting is scheduled for Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m. in Cannon Beach at the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce, 207 N. Spruce. A Spanish presentation takes place Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Broadway Middle School, 1120 Broadway.

After unanimous endorsement by the City Council in its first reading, the revised ordinance will come before the council for second and third readings in its next two meetings, Mayor Jay Barber said.

“There will still be a lot of issues regarding traffic and infrastructure, but this is a big stop moving forward in that direction,” Barber said. “The voters voted for this and it is going to happen.”


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