Posted: May 15, 2017

CAMAS — Construction started last week on a year-long sewer expansion project that will allow for growth north of Lacamas Lake in Camas.

The sewer project will add 4.5 miles of new sewer pipeline and is expected to bring more than 1,000 new residences to the city, along with areas set aside for industrial businesses and a new school. Funding for the $12 million project came from water and sewer revenue bonds issued by the city.

“Back in 2007, the area north of the lake was annexed,” City Administrator Pete Capell said. “That happened just before the recession, and so then nothing happened. Since we got out of the recession, there’s a new interest in development out there.”

The biggest concentration of homes is expected to come from the Green Mountain subdivision, which is located at the former Green Mountain Golf Course. Capell said there could be around 1,000 new residences there, and some space for mixed use buildings with retail on ground level and residential up above in southeast corner of the property.

“You’re going to see homes being constructed in Green Mountain this summer,” he said. “One of the things they’re doing is they’ve got a temporary sewer to serve that area, and they’ve got water on the west end. They’ve been building phases of the subdivision now. They’re looking to start getting some building permits for homes this year.”

There is also the possibility for some other subdivisions in that area north of Lacamas Lake, Capell said, along with 260 acres for light industrial, which could be business parks or light industrial buildings. It’ll depend on what the developers of those properties choose to build.

Camas’ population is around 22,000 at the moment, and is expected to rise to 34,000 by 2035, Capell said.

Schools set to grow

More people means more space for students, and the sewer expansion will allow for construction of a new school, as well.

Voters in the Camas School District approved a $120 million bond in 2016, and $44.6 million of that money will go toward a replacement for Lacamas Heights Elementary School, which has just under 400 students at the moment, according to Superintendent Jeff Snell.

The school is just about at capacity. The new Lacamas Lake Elementary School, which is expected to open in time for the 2018-2019 school year, will have a capacity of 600 students. Construction on the new school is expected to start May 29.

While the city is doing work on the sewer, a water line is also being put in the ground that will extend to the new school, Snell said.

The Camas School District might not see a huge increase in population from the new subdivisions coming to Camas, though. Snell said most of the people who live around the Green Mountain area are outside of the district’s boundary, and instead those students will go to Evergreen Public Schools.

 

Read the full story in The Columbian.