Aquatic Center to include therapy pool

As the Warren H. Daugherty Aquatic Center is currently being renovated, the South Lane School District school board ensured Thursday this facility will include a warm water recreation and therapy pool.

The addition of the therapy pool was in doubt after it was seen that it would cost an additional $524,000. The district then began fundraising around the community to come up with the additional funding and at last Thursday’s meeting, interim superintendent Larry Sullivan showed the fundraising efforts have netted $445,094 in donations and commitments.

These funds come from individuals, businesses and the City of Cottage Grove which committed $200,000.

While additional pending funds and verbal commitments are on track to take the district past their goal and to as much as $550,000, as of now they are short of the target. With the deadline to decide on whether to add the warm water pool last Friday, on Thursday the board voted to bridge the gap between the needed funding and what the district currently has. To do this, the board agreed to temporarily move up to $200,000 in bond funding for the warm water pool to allow it to be built while the remaining money is raised.

“In other words, some funding that will bridge what we’ve been able to fundraise to what we’re seeing as the next to final cost estimate for the warm-water recreation therapy pool,” said Sullivan.

The community pool, that is owned by the district, began renovations last month with money from the 2016 bond and the pool, locker rooms, lighting, interior and exterior of the building are receiving upgrades. The current therapy pool, located at the community center and, according to the city, is in needs of repair.

While the majority of the fundraising came in big chunks from individuals or businesses, there were also small amounts that made a difference.

“We’ve had donations from $35 checks, $25 all the way up to some of those higher numbers. What it says is that we have an amazing community. And a community that wants to invest in something like a warm water recreational therapy pool because they understand the impact that it will have,” said South Lane School District communications director Garrett Bridgens.

At Thursday’s meeting, the board also approved the second-year of interim superintendent Sullivan’s contract. After serving the role of interim for one year, the board and Sullivan agreed it was in the district’s best interest for another year as they begin to search for a new superintendent.


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