Astoria Sports Complex
Client: City of Astoria and Columbia Memorial Hospital
Location: Astoria, Oregon
Astoria’s new sports complex exemplifies the many benefits of multiple public and private parties coming together in the redevelopment of a brownfield to benefit their community. In addition to capping and closing an inactive municipal landfill, the new athletic field complex has created a new potential source of revenue for the Astoria School District, while freeing up developable land for a much-needed expansion of Columbia Memorial Hospital.
In 1978, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality ordered the City of Astoria to close and cap the city’s 12.5 acre landfill because of failure to prevent landfill-created leachate from flowing into a nearby creek and wetland. While the city subsequently closed the landfill to dumping and in 1986 obtained a closure permit, they were financially unable to proceed with DEQ’s requirements to begin the process for official landfill closure. For more than 30 years, the landfill was an ongoing cost, liability, and risk potential for the City of Astoria.
Astoria’s location at the mouth of the Columbia River and against the Northern Oregon Coast Range has resulted in development constraints. When Columbia Memorial Hospital, one of the largest institutions in Astoria, needed to expand, they found very limited options. The existing hospital campus was landlocked, except to the west. The local high school’s outdated football facility, Warren Field, was immediately west of the hospital.
A strategic plan was formulated between Columbia Memorial Hospital, the City of Astoria, and Astoria School District to conduct a land swap with the school district for the old football field in order to have land to expand the hospital campus. In return, Columbia Memorial Hospital would provide the bulk of the $8 million required not only to officially close the landfill for the City, but also to redevelop the old municipal landfill as a new, 17-acre athletic field complex to serve the school district and the entire community.
MFA was retained to design redevelopment of the landfill because of the firm’s diverse array of solid waste experience and its integrated approach, which combines engineering and environmental science.
MFA worked with the city, the school district, and Columbia Memorial Hospital to:
- Meet DEQ requirements of official closure
- Prohibit the future creation of leachate and associated contamination
- Provide the community of Astoria with a long-lasting and safe sports facility
From regulatory agencies to public entities to private businesses, all parties involved expressed satisfaction with the project’s results.
DEQ is very pleased with the outcome of the Astoria Landfill/Astoria Athletic Field Complex project and with the quality of work performed by the City of Astoria’s engineering team and community partners. From DEQ’s perspective, open communication and innovation stand out as key ingredients of this project’s success in meeting the established environmental goals.
- Tim Spencer, DEQ’s Project Manager
This was an amazing project of which we are very proud to have been a part. Maul Foster & Alongi was a great team player and anytime a challenge or problem was uncovered, they did an excellent job designing cost effective solutions that kept the project on track.
- Erik Thorsen, CEO at Columbia Memorial Hospital
This is a great example of a successful brownfield redevelopment and demonstrates the potential positive impact it can have on a community. We commend the City of Astoria, Columbia Memorial Hospital, and the Astoria School District for their leadership and resolve in developing a resource for their community for generations to come.
- Stacy Frost, PE, Project Manager for Maul Foster & Alongi
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