2018 Update

WUFC Sports Park Update

The board and staff of Willamette United would like to update our membership concerning the proposed fields at SouthLake Park. It has been a long and expensive process as we work to create our proposed sports park. While the process is moving slowly, it is absolutely moving forward. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to open this desperately needed facility. 

Progress Report

In the last 18 months:

• We applied for a similar use decision for “sports fields” from Clackamas County. Before 2017 sports fields were not considered an acceptable use for a conditional use permit. Thanks to a positive decision, we can now apply for a conditional use permit to put sports fields in Clackamas County.

• We have done all of the studies, drawings and surveys needed to apply for a conditional use permit. This includes but is not limited to environmental, hydrological, traffic and soil testing. We also have a full set of 90 percent schematic design drawings for the entire park. This process took over 12 months and cost over $300,000. This work was paid for with the funds we raised from our four club auctions and profits from the Mt. Hood Challenge.

• We have identified the large pieces needed to pay for the $14.1 million park. The club will use a SNAP loan (a special loan for non-profit organizations), a large private investment, grants, existing revenue and new streams of revenue created by building the park. We will need to raise $1 million from donations and sponsorships in the coming months to complete the financing package.

• We have 17 verbal commitments from local youth sports organizations to rent field time at the park. These verbal commitments represent 65% of the available field time at the perk.

We are now waiting on one last task before we can apply for a conditional use permit. SouthLake Church and the National Foursquare denomination are working together to finalize an LLC which will own the land and lease it to Willamette United. Once we have the final land owner corporation in place we will apply for the CUP.

It takes approximately 90 days for a conditional use permit decision. If we get a positive decision we can break ground in 2019 and open the park in 2020.

As we move forward there are a number of steps we have to take before construction can begin. Many of these steps will be happening at the same time and this list is not in chronological order.

Next Steps:

• Once we get the land ownership structure from SouthLake Church and Foursquare we will apply for a conditional use permit from Clackamas County.

• Receive conditional use permit decision.

• Apply for the SNAP loan from our partner bank.

• Have our design firm complete all necessary drawings and plans in an effort to secure construction permits.

• Begin our capital campaign in an effort to raise the needed funds to complete the financing package.

• Close sponsorships

 

Traffic Plan

Last week several members of the SouthLake Park Project met with the Stafford Hamlet and the Lower Tualatin Valley Community Planning Organization. It is important to everyone involved with the park project that we get input from the community. We have met with local cities, the county, local youth sports groups and other organizations looking for input and to hear potential concerns.

The one item that keeps popping up is the concern about traffic. Our group is working with the county to make sure that we meet all requirements concerning traffic on Borland Road in front of the proposed park. WUFC has hired the services of Kittleson & Associates, which is one of the best if not the best traffic consultant in the state. We are studying the area and creating a plan that will meet county requirements and hopefully IMPROVE the traffic situation in and around the park. We will spend almost $50,000 on traffic planning alone. It is important to the park's success and the well being of our children that we make sure the traffic situation is set up for success.

We do not have all of the answers yet and we will not have them until our preliminary work with the county and all of the studies are complete. All we can do at this time is communicate that this concern is a priority for our group and we are spending the proper amount of time and money needed to make sure that our ultimate solution is one that serves the park and community.

Once we have the final plan in place we will make sure that everyone in the community knows what we will be doing concerning traffic near the park.

SOUTHLAKE PARK FAQs

• WHEN WILL THE PARK OPEN?
Our plan is to open SouthLake Park in 2019. We must stress that there are several hurdles that need to be cleared before construction can begin. We are currently working with Clackamas County to secure a conditional use permit. An experienced team of consultants is helping work with the team at Clackamas County in order to make sure the park is created in a way that is safe and respectful of the neighborhood, community and environment. Club leadership is in the process of meeting with local groups like the Stafford Hamlet, the Stafford-Tualatin Valley CPO and local schools to gain valuable input as we proceed. As we work on securing the needed permits we are simultaneously working on securing the funds needed to build the park. Raising $12 million is a paramount goal before the park can be built.

• HOW WILL SOUTHLAKE PARK CONSTRUCTION BE PAID FOR?
Willamette United is going to use a combination of existing revenue, new revenue, donations, sponsor dollars and private financing to get the park built. Because we have 3000 children that play for our club we can move them into the park on day one and have substantial revenue to put toward debt service. We have created a very sophisticated sponsor program and we are already talking to several private groups interested in exploring the financing of the park. Locking down financing is going to take time and a great deal of work but if our community works together we can get the park built.

• WHERE ARE YOU IN THE PROCESS OF BUILDING THE PARK?
We are currently working with local groups and the county to secure a conditional use permit. Our goal is to have the conditional use portion of the process completed in the next four to six months. If we are able to raise the necessary funds to build the park we will begin construction in 2018 with the park opening some time in 2019.
    
• IS SOUTHLAKE PARK FOR SOCCER ONLY?
NOT AT ALL! SouthLake Park is being built to accommodate a variety of local youth sports organizations. The three turf fields are large enough for soccer, lacrosse, baseball/softball and American football. The indoor training area will serve soccer, lacrosse and American football and will include batting cages and pitching mounds for baseball and softball. We are currently exploring ways we can convert space to accommodate basketball and volleyball courts as well.

• IS SOUTHLAKE PARK RELATED TO THE PROPOSED FIELDHOUSEE LLC PROJECT BY WANKERS COUNTRY SSTORE AND THE CORNER SALOON?
No! SouthLake Park, Willamette United Football Club and Crossfire Oregon are in NO WAY associated with the proposed Fieldhouse LLC project.

• WILL RECREATIONAL SOCCER PLAYERS GET TO USE THE PARK?
YES! Everyone that is a part of the Willamette United Soccer Club will get to use SouthLake Park. Recreational soccer, PDP, classic and our camps and academies will use the park at times. This park is being created for all of our players.

• WILL CROSSFIRE OREGON ALSO USE THE PARK?
Yes! SouthLake Park will serve as the home fields for WUFC AND Crossfire Oregon. Our goal is to host home games and trainings for these two clubs at Southlake Park.

• WILL A RELATIONSHIP WITH A CHURCH CHANGE WUFC?
The relationship between SouthLake Church and WUFC will not change who we are or how Willamette United operates in any way.  Willamette United is and will remain a secular organization. SouthLake Church knows this about our organization and they have embraced us as their partner and future neighbor. Everything we do as a club is driven by our mission statement.

The Willamette United Football Club works hard to inspire and educate our members to be strong and productive soccer players, citizens, and leaders. We strive to help the whole child grow physically, emotionally, mentally and academically.

Our partner and future landlord, South Lake Church, has excellent options for spiritual development and guidance. We believe they have proven their commitment to the community in many ways, including opening up their land and buildings facilities to help Willamette United fulfill our mission.

SouthLake Church wants all Willamette United players and families to know they are welcome to participate in any of the services SouthLake provides but neither Willamette United or South Lake Church would establish any expectation that members participate.

We want both organizations to encourage 100% authenticity while being respectful of the safety, culture and needs of both organizations when they become neighbors.

• IF I DONATE TO THE CAUSE IS MY DONATION TAX DEDUCTIBLE?
Willamette United is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. This means that charitable donations to our club may indeed be a tax deduction. We highly recommend that you speak with your tax specialist to see what possible benefits a donation to WUFC means to you or your company. We will work with your tax specialist to provide them with anything they may need concerning your donation.

WILL THE PARK IMPACT THE COMMUNITY IN NEGATIVE WAYS?
During construction and after the park is open there may be concerns about how the park may impact the surrounding community. The team managing the construction of SouthLake Park is going to great lengths to make sure that this facility is a source of pride for everyone living near the park and in the surrounding areas. We have one of the best traffic consultants in the state helping us deal with the local traffic. We believe there is potential to IMPROVE the current traffic traveling near SouthLake Park. We are working with several specialists in the lighting industry to explore LED lighting which will eliminate unwanted light pollution. We are designing the facility to use natural materials that will help the park blend into the local environment. We will have community friendly hours so our children are home and in bed at appropriate times. We believe that we will minimize, if not eliminate, potential aspects of the park that may concern our community. If you have concerns about the project please feel free to contact us and we will do our best to address your questions.

• HOW CAN I HELP GET SOUTHLAKE PARK BUILT?
There are many ways you can help us move this project forward:
    1. Write a letter of support for the park. We will need to show that the park is needed
        and wanted by the members of our community. Write a letter of support and email it to
        ray@willametteunitedfc.com
    2. Visit www.wufcsouthlake.com and “TAKE ACTION”. You can donate money online or
         buy a limited edition scarf celebrating SouthLake Park.
    3. Reach out to WUFC and donate your time or professional services. We will need many
        volunteers and professionals as the park is being built.

• HOW CAN I KEEP UP TO DATE WITH SOUTHLAKE PARK'S PROGRESS?
We will constantly update our progress on the web site...

www.wufcsouthlake.com

You can also connect with the club’s social media accounts at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you have any questions about or ideas for the project please feel free to contact us at
info@willametteunitedfc.com

Building SouthLake Park - Working Through The Process

Make no mistake. Building SouthLake Park is a tremendous undertaking. If we are going to succeed in getting this facility built it will take the effort, hard work and expertise of everyone in our community. While the Board at Willamette United is optimistic about the project, we want to stress that this is far from a "done deal". We are working through a detailed process that will give us the best chance of success.

We are currently working with Clackamas County on the conditional use permit process. We have an experienced team of consultants helping us work with the team at Clackamas County in order to make sure we are approaching the park's creation in a way that is safe and respectful of the neighborhood, community and environment.

We are meeting with local groups like the Stafford Hamlet and the Stafford-Tualatin Valley CPO to get valuable input as we proceed. We are also asking local youth sports groups to give us their feedback and input as we finalize designs for the park. The park will be home to soccer, American football, lacrosse, basketball, baseball and softball. We want to stress that this park is NOT a soccer-only facility. All local youth sports organizations are welcome to be a part of this project and use the park when it is complete.

As we work through the conditional use permit process we are also working on financing, fund raising and sponsors. The park will cost between $10 and $12 million to complete so we have our work cut out for us. 

Make sure to check this blog regularly to get updates and to learn about ways you can help get SouthLake Park built!