Rock Creek’s field of dreams
Photos and Story by James Hill
If a parks department builds it, they will come and play.
That was certainly the case on a sunny day in September when partners PCC and Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District officially opened their state-of-the-art, 32-acre sports facility on the Rock Creek Campus. From local officials and college and park district staff to members of the Portland Timbers soccer team and local indoor lacrosse club, everyone got a glimpse of the impressive new amenities.
For years to come, both institutions are hoping many more people will come and play, too. The facility includes two general-purpose fields for sports such as soccer or lacrosse, featuring artificial turf, along with four baseball and softball fields with real grass and six tennis courts. All facilities are fully lighted and easily accessible from the campus and community.
"The PCC/THPRD-shared recreation facility is an excellent model of a win-win partnership that will benefit our students, employees and community members," said Katherine Persson, Rock Creek president. "This model partnership started with the vision of a few at least eight years ago and became a reality thanks to the dedication of many at both the college district and the park district."
Other amenities at the site include 300 parking spaces, walking and running trails, a picnic area, children’s play equipment and a concession stand. The college will have access to the site for credit and non-credit classes during weekdays; they will be open to Tualatin Hills programs on evenings and weekends.
"The northwest quadrant of our district is growing rapidly and forecasts indicate that the expansion will continue over the next 20 years," said Doug Menke, general manager of the park district. "This new complex provides a much-needed addition of sports fields and other recreational opportunities for residents of the area. This complex is all about working together. This partnership’s sum is larger than its individual parts."
The complex also is green in the environmental sense. It features artificial turf fields that require no watering, trash cans that are made from recycled plastic and a runoff filter system for the parking lot that keeps harmful elements out of the ground water.
"The citizens of this area have always had their hands on the steering wheel in guiding the community. This is a great tribute to the collective work in this county," said Rob Drake, Beaverton Mayor.
Also speaking at the event was State Rep. Brad Avakian of Portland.
The new $10.1 million facility was designed by W & H Pacific and its construction was led by Kerr Construction. Eventually, the facility will include a community garden with 55 plots, parking for 400-plus cars, and area for a future recreation and aquatic center. The complex provides a much-needed addition of recreational facilities in the fast-growing area north of Beaverton.
"I think this is an amazing day for us in that it exemplifies what Washington County and our family is all about in that this is a true collaboration, not only with the partnership with Portland Community College but as well as the Tualatin Parks and Recreation District," said Desari Strader, a Washington County commissioner. "As we look over the horizon at North Bethany, this is really amazing piece to have at the center of our community."