Natural Resources Update

Posted by West Linn-Wilsonville on 11/4/2021 3:00:00 PM

The New Athey Creek Middle School at Dollar Street Bond Project continues to progress with construction and site preparation expected to begin in the coming weeks. As part of the ongoing construction process, the District would like to share its vision and planning for the natural resources on and around the property. Planning is incredibly intentional to maintain desired aspects of the current landscape while incorporating natural elements that neighbors expressed interest in during the community engagement process.

Site Background and Layout:
The District’s Dollar Street property is roughly 22 acres consisting of a variety of natural resources. The design team and engineers have put forth every effort to retain these greenspaces in the design, and to position the new middle school building to be enhanced by the surrounding trees, slopes, and greenery.

Eastern Site Planning
The eastern portion of the site has a steep ravine. This ravine will be preserved in its entirety. At the central base of the ravine there is an ephemeral stream that will have enhanced native plantings added within this Water Resource Area (WRA.) Trees will be added across the top of the ravine to increase the buffered area for those in the Arbor Cove neighborhood.

Western Site Planning
The far western portion of the site includes a Tualatin River Protection Area which is measured based on its proximity to the River. There will be a new path that will be built with minimal disruption. This new path will maintain connectivity to the path under Fields Bridge which connects to the park. There will also be enhanced tree and shrub plantings added at this location.

The District has prioritized the use of native species in all planting material. This use of native trees and shrubs has been the basis of the design from the onset and was also a resounding comment heard from the Community during the neighborhood meetings in the planning phase. The new landscape buffers along Dollar Street, trees, and shrubs in the new courtyard, and all plantings surrounding the track and parking areas will also prioritize native plantings. This will ensure that the Pacific Northwest feel, and natural beauty of the property is retained.

Southern Site Planning
Many existing trees will be retained along the southern slope of the property. The increased density from new plantings will meld with the existing landscape in a natural way over time.

Repurposing of Existing Trees
The District is exploring opportunities to repurpose trees that need to be removed to accommodate the building, street improvements, and site amenities. Some potential repurposing ideas include timber benches, live edge planks, and instructional material for student interaction. By bringing the natural resource of wood into the building, trees will find new life within the walls of the school and reflect the greenspace on the exterior. Careful consideration of this valued resource will continue to provide a long-term benefit to the community.

More Information to Come
The District will strive to keep neighbors aware of upcoming construction activities. Neighbors are encouraged to look for communication through this ListServ service and the bond website. For project information and other updates related to the 2019 Capital Bond, please visit the bond website.