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Nearly every day, there are multiple activities scheduled at Ochoco Grade School gym

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Duane GarnerRecently I have been taking my 10-year-old son to his basketball games at the old Ochoco Grade School gymnasium. It's been great to see the old gym come back to life and get some good use by the community. I also took my two young daughters to the "Under the Sea" Daddy Daughter Dance, which we recently held there. The girls had a great time, and it was fun to see all the dads there giving their young daughters a special evening out. Parks & Rec staff had hung string lights across the gym and attached paper lanterns that looked like jellyfish. A wall decorated with fishnets and ocean bobbles became the backdrop for the professional photos taken by Mike Smoke of Smoke Photography, a nice keepsake for each daddy/daughter couple to take home as a memento of their special night. The food was catered by Jim Roth at Club Pioneer, and it was excellent. Dave Clemens was there keeping the music hopping and orchestrating the limbo competition, the freeze dance, the hula hoop competition, and then slowed it down so us dads could get out there and dance with our girls. It was a special evening, and I'm glad I got to spend it with my daughters.

Nearly every day, there are multiple activities scheduled at the gym. Indoor space is increasingly sought after in Prineville, and it's getting difficult to find. Historically, Crook County Parks and Recreation District has used the Pioneer School Gym for classes and programs after school hours. We still use this gym heavily, but it has been very limiting in the number of programs we could offer. Now that we have use of the Ochoco Gym, it has opened up many more options that we are taking advantage of. Right now, we have boys basketball going on at the Ochoco Gym and girls basketball going on at the Pioneer Gym. As soon as basketball is over, we are going to transition to a youth indoor soccer program. Sign-ups are open now, so don't miss out on getting your kids registered for this new spring sport program!

This past year we tried a little experiment. We were approached by the Bureau of Reclamation and asked if we would be interested in managing their campground out at Haystack Reservoir. We already manage Ochoco Lake Campground and the Crook County RV Park, so we decided that adding this on would not be too much out of the norm, and the revenue from the campground could sure help us keep things going around here. It proved to be a win-win for both us and BOR, so we are preparing to enter into a long-term agreement with them to be their operating partner. CCPRD only receives 3% of property taxes, and the district taxable boundaries are nowhere close to the entire county. Our current income level does not leave much room for growth; however, managing the campgrounds helps bring in a little more revenue to improve park and recreation services in Prineville and the surrounding area. We will see how things go, but perhaps more opportunities will present themselves in the camping world as time moves forward.

Spring is going to be here before we know it, and we are currently looking for folks who are interested in a seasonal job. We have openings in the park maintenance department doing grounds work, janitorial work, campground maintenance, RV park customer service, teaching swim lessons and lifeguarding. These are great jobs for folks who could use a little extra income during the summer months and don't mind being off during the winter. Hours vary, and some shifts are during the day, while others are in the evening. Check out our website to see the job descriptions or give us a call if you want to find out more.


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