Ontario Pool District director Andrew Meade at the Ontario indoor pool complex. (Rachel Parsons/The Enterprise)

Ontario pool estimates are in, and the people heading the restoration project are looking for both community input and money.

The plans to fix the defunct Ontario Aquatic Center, which has been closed since 2013 after years of deferred maintenance, range from $2.5 to $4.2 million. Design West architect Chris Vondemkamp outlined the options in his presentation to the board of the Ontario Recreation District on Wednesday, July 15.

Vondemkamp lined out three options for the pool itself, without making any repairs to the aquatic center otherwise.:

• Make the pool usable at the minimum level by repairing and replacing drains, gutters, pool system controls, filtration and sanitation system. Cost: about $1.2 million.

• The above option, and also demolishing and replacing some of the pool structure, adding $100,000 to the pool restoration.

• Replace the pool entirely. Cost: about $1.65 million.

The recreation district has six options for the aquatic complex. These estimates include the base cost of making the pool usable:

• Demolish the existing building, but leave the pillars and main roof beams and bring in an inflatable dome or a fabric structure. This would allow the pool to be open all year but it would be difficult to keep the dome inflated while removing the moisture and pressure necessary to run an indoor pool, said Vondemkamp. Estimated cost: $3.9 million to $4.2 million.

• Demolish the entire structure, using a dome as a cover. Estimated cost: $3.7 million to $4.2 million.

• Keep the roof, but removing two walls and replacing them in the winter with removable walls. This would give the pool an outdoor feel while keeping it year-round, but the removable walls might cause wear and tear, and would make construction last longer. Estimated cost: $3.7 to $4 million.

• An outdoor, seasonal pool, without any of the structure. Estimated cost: $2.5 to $3 million.

• An outdoor, seasonal pool, but with a breezeway to the splash pad at Lions Park. Estimated cost: $2.75 to $3.9 million.

• A pool with the roof beams and the dome during the winter, and a breezeway to the splash pad. Cost: to be determined.

None of the options include lockers or bathrooms. The district, which operates separately from the city, has $700,000 saved for the project, said Andrew Maeda, district executive director. The district will be looking for grants and fundraising to cover the remaining costs.

Operating costs for aquatic facilities were estimated at $570,000 a year, according to the 2018-2019 Aquatic Trends Report. In comparison, the Pendleton outdoor pool cost $200,000 to operate, said Maeda. The district has yearly income of $600,000 from its tax base, with only $300,000 for the aquatic facility and splash pad.

The district will conduct an open forum and a video presentation for the public soon.

The pool could be completed in a year if the district was aggressive, and the project fit in well with construction seasons, architect Bill Hamlin said.

News tip? Contact reporter Aidan McGloin by email at [email protected] or call 541-473-3377.

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