Construction at the Seaside campus

Construction underway, November 2018.

City councilors and school district officials may say “let’s make a deal” to bring a nearly $6 million, 2-million-gallon water storage tank for the new campus and neighboring communities.

The city would foot the bill for the storage tank, located on land donated by Weyerhaeuser Co. to the school district in 2016. In exchange, the school district would deed the 3-acre reservoir site to the city for $1.

A likely location for the tank on the property has been identified, City Manager Mark Winstanley said at a Monday City Council work session.

But city engineers want a more in-depth analysis of the site before moving ahead.

“There’s quite a bit of ground cover, and we don’t have enough information to know what the ground looks like at this point,” Winstanley said. “We’re not going to acquire the property until we know we have the right site.”

If the site is determined suitable and negotiations between the school district and city complete, the city could start begin design and construction of the storage tank.

Once the reservoir is built, older pump stations currently serving the area — including nearby communities like Sunset Hills and Whispering Pines ­— will be decommissioned.

“We’ll be able to provide fire flow to all those locations,” Winstanley said. “There are huge advantages to us as far as this land.”

The city will spend some money to determine if the site is suitable for the storage tank, Winstanley said, opening a bid process for the clearing work. An initial estimate from a school district subcontractor was considered too high, coming in at more than $100,000.

“I’m not at all comfortable with the price tag we have,” Winstanley said. “Hopefully, we will get better proposals. We do believe we have the right site. But we have more work to do.”

Along with the tank, the city will seek easements across school district property in the Southeast Hills where infrastructure may be needed for future development.

Seaside School District board chairman Steve Phillips praised the city and school district’s collaborative efforts. “It gets back into working together for the good of the community,” he said. “It’s not just the water tank, but you’re also looking for easements north and south of the property to deliver water to new properties. We see the value of that for the community and we want to work in that partnership.”

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