Sammamish City Council voted Tuesday to spend $26.3 million to upgrade athletic fields at Inglewood Middle School and Beaver Lake Park, and chose to start with upgrades at Inglewood first.
During the regular council meeting on Feb. 15, council members reviewed options for athletic field improvements for both sites.
The improvements were informed by the 2018 Park Recreation and Open Space Plan and the Athletic Field Study that was done in 2020. Both Beaver Lake Park and Inglewood Middle school were identified as priority sites. Feasibility studies were also conducted to provide the council with more accurate cost estimates and designs.
Both projects could each take a few years to finish, so the city plans to proceed on one at a time. The council decided to prioritize Inglewood Middle School by a 5-1 vote. Councilmember Karen Howe, who voted for Inglewood, said the middle school’s fields are “not nearly as safe because of the lack of turf fields.”
Mayor Christie Malchow was the only dissenter, citing her belief that the Beaver Lake Park upgrade had been on the city agenda for a longer time and should be addressed first.
Inglewood Middle School’s athletic facilities were constructed in 1991. In 2020, the city took over the responsibility of scheduling Lake Washington School District (LWSD) athletic fields in Sammamish. However, the city still shares financial responsibility with LWSD, which retains jurisdiction over lighting construction and permits.
The upgrade work, which will cost $10.7 million, will likely start between 2023 and 2024. Once the construction is finished, Inglewood Middle School will have two synthetic turf multipurpose fields. One will be used for football, soccer and lacrosse, while the other will have softball and baseball overlays. A restroom will be installed, and another 254 parking stalls will be added.
Lights will also be installed on the Inglewood fields, and Malchow was concerned this will cause increased noise at night for adjacent neighborhoods.
“I think we should give our residents the benefits of engagement possibility on lighting before saying we are going to put lighting in before we have any major concerns,” she said.
The Beaver Lake Park improvements will start after the Inglewood fields are upgraded. The project, which is estimated to cost $15.6 million, will create three little league fields, each with a synthetic infield, and one multiuse synthetic turf soccer field with lights. The parking lot will be expanded, and a new restroom, picnic shelter and play area will be added.
The city plans to dip into its Parks Capital Improvement Fund to help cover the cost of these upgrades.