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Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

Fax: 503-823-6007

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204

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Grant Pool renovations underway; pool reopening expected in August 2016

First Parks Replacement Bond project under construction, to be completed this summer

POSTED APRIL 6, 2016

(Portland, OR) –

Construction is now underway to replace the mechanical systems (which date to the 1920s and 1940s, see photo) and improve accessibility at Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R)’s Grant Pool. PP&R expects to reopen the pool in early August 2016, and hopefully even sooner.

Thanks to overwhelming voter support of the Parks Replacement Bond, PP&R is able to begin this important project (and many others citywide) to repair some of the most critical components of the City’s park system. Without these much-needed repairs, PP&R had been faced with likely not opening Grant Pool for the entire 2016 summer.

Much of Grant Pool’s crumbling inner workings have been unchanged since the 1920s. This infrastructure will be replaced, along with: plumbing, pumps, motors, pipes, strainer baskets, chemical controllers, sanitation systems, pool gutters, deck drains, and filters. The work will also include ADA accessibility improvements: fixing cross slope issues on the deck and the installation of two new pool lifts.

The Grant Pool renovations were delayed for about two months due to a setback with the construction bidding and procurement process. This was a disappointing setback, though one outside of the City’s control. 

“I know that Grant Pool is a treasured asset for the community and in dire need of repair. That is why we have prioritized it as the first Parks Bond project to be completed,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

“PP&R staff have done the best they could to fix and maintain Grant Pool’s rusted, nearly 100 year-old inner workings with the resources they have had. We deeply regret the procurement delays and understand that an August opening is far from ideal. We share the disappointment of all who love Grant Pool. I am thankful for the overwhelming voter support for the Bond that allows this pool to be repaired so that it will be functional for generations to come.”

“In a perfect world, our summer season would not be impacted,” notes Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté. “Our staff has done the best they could to keep the pool running, season after season. But the past solution of patchwork repairs over the years was no longer viable. This project will ensure future seasons will not be impacted.”

What is the Grant Pool construction schedule?

Construction began in early March 2016. Project completion is expected by the end of July 2016, with the pool opening in early August 2016 (or possibly sooner). PP&R has built an incentive for early completion into the contract, and the contractor, 2KG, is doing everything they can to finish early and ahead of schedule. PP&R will provide updates as the planned opening date approaches.  

Why was the project delayed?

The City of Portland bidding process follows a set of standard procurement rules that all City bureaus must follow, and PP&R cannot change the rules or the process. They are designed to protect competitive bidding and ensure transparent business processes. So unfortunately, PP&R had to start the bidding process again, resulting in a delay of two crucial months. Delaying the project until after the 2016 summer swim season was ruled out, as Grant Pool's mechanical condition was so deteriorated that opening it at all was in jeopardy.  No one in the Bureau wanted to risk having the pool closed for the entire swim season.

What took place prior to construction?

PP&R has undertaken extensive planning work for months. Bond funds approved in November 2014 were released to Portland Parks & Recreation on July 1, 2015.  Before beginning construction, PP&R had to complete design development, construction documents, permitting, and bidding processes.

Why can’t construction be done after the summer season? 

Grant Pool’s mechanical systems were in such poor condition that PP&R would have be faced with not opening the pool at all this summer if these repairs were not performed this year. Thankfully, rather than going all summer (or even indefinitely) without a pool, the community will instead experience only a temporary hiccup for part of the 2016 summer.

Where can I swim, take lessons, or join a swim team league during the Grant Pool closure? 

We expect that Grant Pool will be open by August 2016 at the latest and hopefully earlier. Other nearby PP&R pools are available for use at Creston Outdoor Pool and the indoor pools at Matt Dishman, Montavilla, and East Portland Community Centers. Swimming lesson registration for the 2016 summer session begins Monday, April 18, 2016, and Grant neighbors are welcome to register for a swim team at another pool. 

Grant Pool plans to have two sessions of swim lessons in August, and a couple of swim lesson sessions in September. Grant Pool is scheduled to remain open until October 9, 2016 to accommodate users of Matt Dishman Pool (which is scheduled to be closed for 6-8 weeks starting in mid-August for Bond project work to re-plaster the pool and replace the spa). 

Where can I get more information?

What is the Parks Replacement Bond?

The Parks Replacement Bond was passed with the support of over 73% of voters in November 2014. Its primary focus is on repair and replacement of the most critical needs in the parks system. The total bond is for $68 million, and work has begun on the first list of 32 Bond projects citywide.

More help is needed to close the play gap

Portland Parks & Recreation remains grateful to Portland voters for the $68 million Parks Replacement Bond, which takes aim at a $248M funding gap for major maintenance needs over the next ten years. Further, PP&R anticipates $472M in unfunded growth needs during that period. That adds up to a $720M funding gap over the next decade, which Commissioner Fritz will continue to work with Council to address. Currently, 20% of people living in Portland do NOT have access to a park or natural area within a 15 minute walk, and the bureau is working hard to close this “play gap”. PP&R data show that pools are one of the bureau’s most widely utilized features, and we recognize their importance to the community.

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