Richland School District wants input on new barrier

Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldMay 23, 2014 

The Richland School District is asking district residents to weigh in on what kind of barrier should be installed to block the view into Fran Rish Stadium from Lee Boulevard.

An online survey written by district officials asks participants to list their top three preferences of seven options ranging in price from $6,500 to $85,000. Residents have until May 30 to take the survey.

"The desire is for the stadium to have a 'park like' setting," the survey said of the district's intentions.

Employees with the Bonneville Power Administration months ago removed the shrubs that previously grew along the chainlink fence between the street and stadium as the plants were intruding into the agency's right of way, district officials said.

A temporary barrier is in place blocking the view into the stadium from the street.

Community members complained about the shrubs' removal after the district removed concrete letters representing Richland and Hanford high schools at the stadium in anticipation of bleacher improvements.

Students and others have said the noise and sight of passing traffic are distracting and detracts from the stadium's atmosphere.

It is possible to put new shrubs in place but that is only one of the options available.

Others options and their cost estimates are:

-- New fencing replacing the chainlink fence, $6,500.

-- New fencing along with new shrubs that would provide privacy and block wind but also conform to BPA's needs, $11,500.

-- New fencing that has privacy slats, $12,000.

-- New fencing with privacy slats and shrubs, $17,000.

-- Installation of a 6-foot solid block wall, $80,000.

-- Installation of the wall along with plants, $85,000.

-- Installation of a partial wall combined with wrought iron accents and shrubs, $60,000.

The survey is available at Participants also are asked to identify themselves as either a community member, district employee or student and can leave any additional comments.

The district installed sod in the shape of the removed letters after residents complained. A committee of community members, district staff, students and boosters have been meeting to determine what will permanently replace them when work on the bleachers is finished.

-- Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402;; Twitter: @_tybeaver; Google+: +TyBeaverTCHerald

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