North Wasco County Park and Recreation District voters will be asked in November to fund a new swimming pool to replace the failing facility at Thompson Park. The “bare bones” bond proposal will seek money to replace the pool, the whole pool, and nothing but the pool.
With the addition of a single lane and wider decks, the proposed pool is what we have now, noted district executive director Scott Green. The new 50-meter pool would occupy the exact footprint of the current 50-meter pool, with the bath house relocated to the the east end. Concessions would be incorporated into the bath house. A water climbing wall and slide would also be added.
Structural work to allow the facility to be expanded and covered would also be incorporated into the bond work, roughly estimated at costing $4 to $5 million. “It is much cheaper to do that at this stage than in the future,” Green noted.
The current wading pool would be replaced with a splash park funded by a separate grant. The splash park could be used not just when the pool is open in the summer, but during warm weather in the spring and fall. “Our swim season is based primarily on state and federal requirements in regards to the number of lifeguards needed,” Green explained. The district uses high school seniors and college students to man the pool, and the season is based on their availability. The splash park, being very shallow, would not require lifeguards and could be user operated with a timed start button.
The board voted unanimously to pursue the bond for the November election, and a work session was scheduled May 15 to discuss strategy.