Memorandum of Understanding:  Grant Park/Grant High School Fields Project - Grant Bowl and Upper Field

Portland Public Schools (PPS) and Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) hereby outline our respective commitments to Friends of Grant Athletics (FGA) in order for the fundraising by FGA to be completed to make possible the restoration and improvement of the major outdoor athletic facilities at Grant Park and Grant High School.  

BACKGROUND:  An initiative to improve the outdoor playing surfaces at Grant Park and Grant High School began several years ago with the formation of a parent group from Grant High School whose students were involved in Grant High athletic programs – specifically football, track, baseball and soccer.   The group has most recently been known as “Friends of Grant Athletics.”

Grant High athletic teams use the “Grant Bowl,” owned by PP&R, for football and track activities.  The “Upper Field” between the Bowl and the school is partly owned by PP&R and partly by PPS.  Because of this joint ownership, the field improvement group has dealt with both entities.

Both areas are used extensively by the community.  When not in use by PPS athletic programs, they are programmed for sport league use through PP&R’s permit program.  When not scheduled by Grant High or PP&R, they are available and enjoyed by the community.

The promise of funding from anonymous sources motivated a volunteer group to develop a plan to substantially improve the condition of the fields.  Significant efforts were undertaken by the Friends of Grant Athletics to define the project elements for full scale improvement of the athletic facilities, including improvements that would accommodate more home games by Grant High football, some of which would involve evening home games. 

One of the first steps by FGA was to form a community advisory group that would serve as a forum for community input into the proposed improvement plans.  The group included representatives of the surrounding neighborhood associations, and a few members who lived in the vicinity of the fields.  Several public meetings/workshops occurred to gain public response and feedback.  

The result of that public advisory process resulted in scaling back the original proposed project elements (removing permanent seating, removing lighting for evening play, and dropping the proposal for fencing to allow for charging admission, for example).  The original concepts evolved to a less expansive improvement plan and was presented to PPS and PP&R for review and endorsement. 

Upon review of the project elements, PPS and PP&R recommended removing some of the project elements even further to make the proposed improvements more compatible with neighborhood interests and with PP&R park use standards.  A revised “Proposed Plan” was published by PPS in 2007 which was then circulated for public review.

FGA has expressed a willingness to take responsibility for raising funds to implement this plan.  Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the “Project” consists only of those improvements listed in the attached Exhibit A. 

PUBLIC OUTREACH:  In the course of the long process to define the project and engage the Grant community, mentioned above, the FGA, through its advisory committee process, worked with the Grant Park Neighborhood Association on sponsoring several open house and workshop events.  

More recently, PPS and PP&R have taken responsibility for managing the public information/outreach process, including response to community questions, e-mails, newsletter items for the neighborhood association, and an open house conducted in April, 2008.  Future opportunities for public involvement will be scheduled to assure full public awareness of project plans as they go forward.

CURRENT STATUS:  The project is at the stage where significant fundraising is promised. FGA has asked for assurances from PPS and PP&R, as outlined below, as a condition of expending time and effort to raise the necessary funds  These assurances  will allow extensive fundraising solicitation and fulfillment to occur, with an understanding that when fundraising succeeds, the project will go forward.

PROCEEDING WITH THE PROJECT IN PHASES:  PPS and PP&R agree that, while it is preferable to have all funding in hand to complete the entire project scope prior to beginning construction, full funding is not a requirement to proceed with a definable project element as long as there is a reasonable expectation that funding for all project elements will ultimately occur.  That expectation will be based on fundraising prospects and pace.

What follows is a description of the roles and responsibilities of the parties:


FGA will: 

a)  Establish a non-profit entity for soliciting and receiving donations, hold donated funds, and disburse funds during construction. 

b)  Identify a point person to work with PPS and PP&R project staff.

c)  Lead fundraising communications, with support from PPS and PP&R.

d)  Raise sufficient funds to hire architects/engineers to complete preliminary design of the elements of the project, in order to accurately establish a project budget.


e)  Complete all necessary fundraising to bring the project to a successful completion.

f)  Maintain a working relationship with PPS and PP&R as the scope of the project is defined, and with project management as the project continues toward completion.


PPS ROLE:  PPS’ support of the project is evidenced by PPS accepting the project for development.  As part of this acceptance, project management resources have been assigned by PPS to the project to complete the development steps.


In addition, PPS will:

a)  Provide project management services. 

b)  Hire project architects and engineers (paid by FGA) to design the project, complete with cost estimates of each project element.

c)  Work closely with FGA on project preliminary design and cost estimates to define fundraising goals.

d) Evaluate funding capacity to complete the project, or any definable component, in anticipation of obtaining formal approval from the school board to proceed.  

When project development (architectural design and engineering) is successfully completed to construct all elements of the project, or any definable component of the total project, including sufficient funds having been raised to assure completion of the entire project or individual component projects, PPS staff will present the project to the school board requesting approval for a permit to proceed with construction on the school district’s property.  

e)  Present the project to PP&R for approval relating to those project elements that will be implemented on PP&R-owned property. 

f)  With PP&R’s consent and coordination, lead the process through the City approval steps (permitting to project acceptance), and obtain all necessary permits and approvals to allow the project to proceed to completion.

g) Hire contractor, issue notice to proceed, and manage construction.

h) Translate project elements and schedules to public information pieces and, in conjunction with PP&R, develop and implement a public information/involvement plan as the project progresses.

PORTLAND PARKS AND RECREATION ROLE:  PP&R supports the project for development and has agreed to allow the project to be managed by PPS.  PP&R will work in cooperation with PPS’s project manager to assure that the project design meets PP&R standards, and will work as a project partner with PPS to assure the project’s successful completion.

PP&R will review plans relating to project elements on PP&R property. No construction will occur on PP&R property until PP&R’s written approval has been provided to PPS.

Funding of PP&R project staff to review work to assure compliance with PP&R standards must be part of the project budget, and raised from donations, as PP&R has no general fund dollars to support these services.  Reimbursement of PP&R staff costs will not exceed $10,000.

TIME LIMITS ON FUNDRAISING:  The parties understand that project commencement and completion are contingent on fundraising success.  Fundraising progress will be reviewed on not less than a quarterly basis by PPS and PP&R, and if sufficient progress is not made within 24 months, PPS and PP&R reserve the right to terminate the relationship with FGA.  


HOLD HARMLESS:  It is the parties’ intent that FGA will have no liability for any negligent acts or omissions of PPS or PP&R, and, if deemed necessary in the future, the parties will enter into an agreement that includes a provision indemnifying FGA, subject to the limits of the Oregon Tort Claims Act and the Oregon Constitution.  

OWNERSHIP OF IMPROVEMENTS: Unless otherwise agreed, improvements made pursuant to this project will be owned by the party owning the land underlying the improvement.  

FIELD MAINTENANCE AND REPLACEMENT:  Subject to approval by their respective governing bodies, PPS and PP&R will share equally all costs of on-going maintenance, repair, and replacement of the field improvements. While it is the intention of PPS and PPR to adequately maintain and replace, when necessary, the improvements, neither party makes any guarantees that it will have available funding to do so in the future. FGA will not be responsible for funding on-going maintenance and operations of facilities.

WARRANTIES, BONDING, AND INSURANCE PROVISIONS:  The parties understand that the permit issued by PPS to proceed with the project will include warranties, bonding and insurance provisions.  A prototype permit is available for the parties to review.

[signatures on following page]



By______________________________ Approved as to Form

Title_____________________________ _________________

        Chief Deputy City Attorney







Exhibit A




Football and soccer field improvements:

Install all-weather turf in the area inside the track.  PP&R will not permit this improvement unless the Little League improvements listed below are also made.

Little League improvements:

Improve the two playfields used by Hollywood Little League, including removable team benches, backstops and wings.  

Track improvements:

Upgrade the Grant Track with a new surface

Replace worn out track equipment

Improve the cross country path with wood chips along west and south edges of the Bowl.

Adjust and resurface the high, triple, long jump and javelin runways.  Use removable striping for javelin, discus and hammer throw.

Pedestrian improvements:

Install 42-inch high pedestrian railing along the rim of the north end of the bowl and along path at northeast ramp to Bowl for pedestrian safety.

Other improvements:

Install pedestrian scale lights (matching existing lights along US Grant Place) around the top of the Bowl, orienting light distribution toward the landscape and pathways and to illuminate the track.  Utilize light cut-off features to direct lighting to the interior of the park, to restrict any light trespass into the neighborhood.

Install ornamental trash receptacles in strategic locations.  .


Field improvements:

Install all-weather turf for both upper fields, using rubberized edging on the south and east sides

Regrade the field and install a planted berm along US Grant Place, with paths for access to sidewalk (including wheelchair access to and from sidewalk.).  To the extent possible, the existing trees will not be removed.

Install new street trees along US Grant Place to provide more of a buffer between playing fields and residences across the street.

Relocate the baseball scoreboard to a less obtrusive place (likely the northeast side of the field).

Safety and security improvements:

Install additional lighting on school walkways and areas between the school and the auxiliary school structures (classrooms) on the west of the school, adjacent to the gymnasium.  


Hollyrood soccer field improvements:

Renovate irrigation system and refurbish the turf to maintain the natural turf areas.

Maintain the current northern slope (the area designated as an off leash area).

Coordinate soccer field lines with dog off-leash area boundaries

Safety, security, and convenience improvements:

Install pedestrian scale lighting along the pedestrian path from NE 36th Avenue to the tennis courts. Minimize light pollution using cut-off fixtures that restrict light to internal areas of the park and keep light from “trespassing” to the residences adjoining the Park.

Install bollards along NE 36th Ave to prevent automobiles from entering the park area and vandalizing the field.

Add a drinking fountain – complete with a dog bowl -- at the northwest corner of the existing basketball court.

 The document is entitled “Grant High School/Grant Park – Athletic and Recreation Facilities Preservation, Restoration and Improvement Plan.”