Ontario Pool District director Andrew Maeda at the Ontario indoor pool complex. (Rachel Parsons/The Enterprise)
ONTARIO - The Ontario Recreation District will develop plans to take down the Aquatic Center building in Lions Park and leave the pool for outdoor use, the recreation board decided on Tuesday Aug. 25.
“I want an indoor pool in the future, if the income allows it, but in the short term, it’s not attainable or affordable,” said Andrew Maeda, district director.
A survey about the future of the pool drew 200 responses and 66 voted for the outdoor pool with a walkway to the splash pad at the park, said Maeda.
The project will include two restrooms and lockers.
The district will have saved $700,000 in property taxes for the project by the time construction begins, and will need another $2.25 million to finish it. Maeda hopes to raise the balance through fundraising.
Maeda said the district doesn’t have adequate funding to maintain an indoor pool.
The district receives $324,000 every year from property taxes, and yearly maintenance for the aquatic center before it closed in 2013 was $550,000.
The outdoor Pendleton pool, by comparison, costs $150,000 every year.
If the district stays within its means, it can save money for additions like slides, or deepening one end of the pool, said Maeda.
The district would need $1 million just to make the existing pool functional, and any money raised past the $2.25 million fundraising goal will further fix the pool.
The district will put out a bid for a construction manager to plan with Design West, the architecture firm which provided the estimates detailed in the survey, in late October.
After that, the district will put out a second bid for a construction crew.
Sixty people volunteered through the survey to fundraise for the pool, said Maeda.
News tip? Contact reporter Aidan McGloin at [email protected] or at 541-473-3377.
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