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KBND Morning News

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REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond Area Parks and Recreation District (RAPRD) is considering asking voters to approve a bond, next spring, to expand the Cascade Swim Center. Redmond Schools Superintendent Mike McIntosh says his district is part of the equation, and there are a lot of unanswered questions, "That land is school district property and the pool is sitting on it. There’s a softball field and about a four to five-acre transportation lot, where we house our buses and bus barn, and so on. And so, the conversation is around how do we vacate that as a school district, and allow Parks and Rec to build a facility there?"


One proposal involves a land-swap that would relocate the bus barn to property owned by RAPRD, at SW 35th and Highway 126. "There is about 11 acres there – same size piece of land," says McIntosh, "It’s got several issues – one of them being the BPA [Bonneville Power Administration] has lines that go through, crisscross that piece of property, on part of it. Also, there’s access to the highway; we already know that’s a problem." That’s a problem, because SW 35th and Highway 126 is known for serious crashes. McIntosh acknowledges it's still very early in the conversation, but says it's one worth having, "There’s going to be a lot of people, from the city to the state to the county, all involved in how that would transpire. We also have - the piece that they’re owning is outside the city limits; it’s inside the UGB. There are a lot of good questions to be answered." 


RAPRD Executive Director Katie Hammer tells KBND News a new facility would be built next door to the existing pool complex and would allow her agency to consolidate fitness and swim activities on to one campus. Currently, fitness and other classes are offered at a building at SW Odem Medo and Canal Blvd, two miles from the pool. Her goal is to create a fitness and aquatic center rivaling the Madras Aquatic Center and Juniper Swim & Fitness, in Bend. It could include indoor basketball courts, a walking track and a family water feature, like a lazy river. A bond measure to fund design and construction of the new facility would also pay to move the school district's transportation department, says Hammer. The preliminary price tag for both projects is $36 million. 

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