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Pool fans poised to canvas Newberg


The Chehalem Pool Committee planning volunteer event Saturday to distribute 5,000 informational door hangers across the community

If you don’t know much about the current state of the pool at the Chehalem Aquatic Center, chances are you’ll be able to get up to speed over the weekend because the Chehalem Pool Committee will canvas the community with 5,000 informational door hangers Saturday.

Led by canvassing committee leader Karen Saunders, the group of local citizens committed to renovating the pool has partnered with George Fox University social work professor Erin Johnson and several of her students, some of which have organized the event and will lead the volunteer effort from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Another group of students, all of whom are seniors, have partnered with Saunders’ public outreach committee, as well.

“They have been awesome,” Saunders said. “They have been very involved and helpful with being available to answer questions and help educate the community on the need. That has been a lifesaver for me.”

About 100 volunteers are expected to participate, but more will be welcomed Saturday or at future events.

The canvassing campaign is just the latest in the pool committee’s effort to educate the public and garner support for a potential $20 million renovation, which began in earnest last year when patrons noticed crumbling concrete and exposed structural steel near the pool deck.

Subsequent discussions with pool staff revealed other age-related problems such as poor energy efficiency and difficulty in finding key replacement parts. According to industry professionals, the expected service life of a pool like Newberg’s is 50 years.

The proposed plans call for expanding the facility to 58,000 square feet to include three pools, a bigger fitness center, an expanded parking lot and other additions.

CPRD plans to conduct a phone survey of district residents sometime in May to gauge support for a potential bond measure this fall.

Annual cost to homeowners in the Chehalem Park and Recreation District would be 72 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, meaning a house valued at $200,000 would be taxed $144 per year ($12 a month) for 20 years.

“Of course there’s always a concern about cost and what this is going to mean to each homeowner,” Saunders said. “We’re very sensitive to that and are making sure to help people see the value in what we’re doing, how the value would outweigh the cost.”

For more information, visit www.savechehalempool.com.