While it won’t be finished within the originally planned time frame, progress has been made on a 12-acre, indoor-outdoor athletic complex in North Bend.
At its Nov. 1 meeting, the North Bend City Council approved a development agreement between the city and developers Bendigo Properties, LLC. The project, located between S.R. 202 and Boalch Avenue, includes plans for four outdoor combination turf fields, a 50-space parking lot in phase one, and a 75,000 square-foot athletic facility with 12 indoor courts and 90 more parking spaces in phase two.
The original completion date of the project was estimated to be this spring, but that date has slipped into the second half of 2017, as more tests are needed on the groundwater levels at the site and the developers meet other engineering requirements.
North Bend’s Public Works Director Mark Rigos said Bendigo Properties is currently doing infiltration rate testing, soil evaluation, and a determination of the season high groundwater table, because city code requires their project to do winter modeling. Because the site is entirely within the 100-year floodplain, making sure the development would not negatively affect the infiltration rate or groundwater is a priority.
Bendigo Properties also chose to use a series of infiltration trenches as its drainage design in order to avoid the large costs associated with larger drainage vaults.
“Their storm drainage design is unconventional, a lot of times developers would provide detention pond, infiltration pond, or detention vault, it could be underneath the parking lot,” Rigos said. “They chose a series of infiltration trenches throughout the site… It will save money for the project, going with this design if it works. A detention vault is very expensive.”
Wende Miller of Bendigo Properties said the groundwater testing will be done by Jan. 20, and the data will be compiled into a report. After that, they will be able to move forward with the city on the next steps.
“With the groundwater study, we had to have the equipment installed, we are supposed to go out there this week and get the information,” she said. “The equipment has been out there for a month, once they are able to gather that information, they can assess it and put together their report.”
After the seasonal groundwater monitoring, Bendigo Properties will need final engineering approval from the city and a clearing grade permit before construction, Rigos said.
“They also need to provide the city a bond for off-site sewer improvements, to have met the development agreement approved by the North Bend City Council,” he said.
Rigos said he expected the project to begin construction around October, once the developer acquires all of the permits they need.
Miller expressed some disappointment at not being able to finish the project this spring. If the original goal was met, the fields would have been used by the Mount Si High School baseball and softball teams for their spring seasons.
The new goal is to be ready for the Wildcat junior football program in the fall, she said.
Because Mount Si High School is in the midst of construction on a new facility, the baseball and softball teams cannot hold home games in Snoqualmie.
Betsy Evensen, secretary of the Mount Si Athletic Department, said that if the complex had been ready, the teams would have used it, but because of the tight timing they needed to look elsewhere to make sure they were able to play.
For the coming season, Mount Si’s home baseball and softball games will be held at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue.
Mount Si High School will not be able to play at home until 2020. Once finished, the athletic complex could be the new home for Mount Si sports until then.