The end is now in sight for the current iteration of the Warren H. Daugherty Aquatic Center.
A staple in the community since 1955, the pool, that is owned by the South Lane School District (SLSD), will be closed for renovations starting on August 17. At that time SLSD will then bring on a contractor to begin construction.
“The construction process is supposed to start end of September, early October and we’re shooting 11 months for construction,” said SLSD Communications Coordinator Garrett Bridgens.
The upgrades for the pool will include a new tank that will, unlike the current iteration, be regulation sized which will allow CGHS to host swim meets. The pool tank itself will also include steps in order to be accessible for community members ranging from swimming lessons for children and recreation for senior citizens. The plumbing and electrical system will also be upgraded.
There are also plans in place for the locker rooms and exterior of the building to be updated but the degree to which they are improved is not yet set in stone due to a gap in the cost of the project and the money allocated for it by the school district.
With money from the 2016 bond that went to building a new Harrison Elementary School in addition to updating security and technology around the district, $5.1 million was set aside for the pool. The price tag for various upgrades greatly varied and with some project to cost over $7 million. The most up to date price has the pool upgrade at just over $5.5 million dollars.
“As we were going through this design phase it was clear that this project was going to cost a little bit more than what the school district had allocated and so we started working right away with some fantastic folks in the community to try and close that gap with some fundraising,” said Bridgens.
Just over $20,000 has been raised by the community, $50,000 from the city and pledges from various organizations that total over $150,000. Regardless of the funds that come in, the aquatic center will still be updated.
“This project is moving forward regardless of where we’re at,” said Bridgens.
The school district decided the priorities of what should be renovated first with guidance from a pool committee that was formed that included community members, swimmers and advisors from Eugene-area pools.
While the pool is under construction, the CGHS swim and water polo teams will be provided with transportation for practice at other pools.
“Those are really important programs and we don’t want to see them go away and we are committed to making sure those programs continue through construction,” said Bridgens.
On July 14, former Cottage Grove swim coach Bud Taylor will be hosting a “pool retirement party” to invite back former swimmers to enjoy the space one last time.