REDMOND, OR -- A small private school in southeast Redmond plans to grow its athletic programs by building its own sports facilities. Central Christian School hopes to construct a gym on a vacant one-acre lot across from the school’s campus near the Redmond Airport, and a soccer field on a five-acre parcel just a few blocks away.
Head Administrator Elisa Carlson tells KBND News the school already has a deal with the city to lease the property under two water towers near 6th and Umatilla Ave. "The understanding is then that we will develop a soccer field on that ground. And, it will not only be for our school use but the community will be able to use it as well. Our students will be able to jog over there during the school day and use it; and then, of course use it for practice in the afternoon, and for games, which will be huge for us." Carlson says soccer, volleyball and basketball teams currently borrow space from other schools or churches, which means they never truly get that “home court advantage.”
The combined projects, though, are expensive. She estimates their value at around $3.5 million, although in-kind donations and volunteers should help bring the school's cost to about $2 million. "The soccer field already has an engineered plan approved by the city, so it is ready to go as soon we receive the funds. The gymnasium has a concept plan that won’t take us very long at the architectural level to get the plans ready to build. And, because we already have the conditional use permits, as soon as we have the money in hand, we can move forward with both projects."
Carlson says administrators recognize the importance of middle and high school sports to students' overall experience. And, she says, both efforts renew the school’s commitment to excellence. "This is the 25th year of the school’s operation, and so it really is time - if we want to be a mature, long-lasting school in Central Oregon – for us to be able to add these components so we are a thriving high school. Not just academically, because we do that well. It really is this athletic piece that we want to add to our programs so our students have access to that."
Upper left: Future site of CCS soccer field, near SW 6th and Umatilla Ave.