Soggy field possible future park, school

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - It's hard to imagine on a foggy cold November day that this cow pasture could some day be full of kids.

"This is a very important site to us," said Bob Keefer, director the Willamalane Parks District.

Imagine this: a new park on 10 acres just off the Bob Straub Parkway in south Springfield.

The Springfield School District and Willamalane are tag-teaming on the idea.

The school district bought the land 2 years ago for $1.2 million dollars. Willamalane will take the lead on facilities.

"A nice playground, an outdoor basketball court, a play field and some limited parking will be part of it, just because of the school site," said Keefer.

The school district wants to build a new campus in the area some day, but right now they aren't ready. For now, they want to forge ahead with the park.

Keefer said maybe the best existing example of what they hope to do is at Guy Lee Elementary School next door to Guy Lee Park.

"We have the playground in the school site but the athletic fields and the play fields are on the park site," he said.

Before work begins, school officials need permission from the Army Corps of Engineers for a wetlands fill permit. Keefer said approval might come next summer - and then his crews could go to work.

"We want to create as many wins and stretch our dollars as far as possible," he said.