The board now plans to open the Molalla Aquatic Center by the beginning of January.

PIONEER PHOTO: KRISTEN WOHLERS - If all goes well, the Molalla Aquatic District board is hoping to open the pool by January 2018.Though the Molalla Aquatic District board had hoped to reopen the pool to the public by November 2017, that timeline has been pushed back to January 2018, but even that date is subject to change.

"We have a time table action plan, where every meeting we're reevaluating our time and targets on all the things that have to happen," said Neal Lucht, a member of the board. "That January timetable is our latest mark based on that action plan. That's subject to change as every single meeting we go through that plan and reevaluate where we're at."

We're getting close. -Paula Beck

Funds are not yet available and negotiations with the Molalla River School District, which owns the facility, are still in process.

The pool closed in August 2014, and since then, Friends of Molalla Pool and members of the community have been working to reopen it. After Measure 3-516 passed, the Molalla Aquatic District board formed, and they worked quickly to submit paperwork for funding.

Related Story: Board hopes to splash into Molalla pool by November

That funding will be available at the end of November.

"We're working diligently and hard," Lucht said. "There is just a lot to do when you're creating an entirely new entity. It's like starting a business. One of the challenges is that you're created before you even have one dollar to open a bank account. We've each donated a small amount personally just to get those things started, like a post office box."

With the promise of funds available soon, the board will post the job opening for the pool director on Oct. 13.

"We're hoping to get a bunch of qualified candidates," Lucht said. "But if we don't that's probably one of the biggest things that will change our timeline."

President of the board Paula Beck is optimistic about hiring a director.

"There's been interest in the position," she said. "I'm also perfectly willing to go out and look and recruit if it comes to that."

The other delay has been the process of coming to a lease agreement with the Molalla River School District, but they've recently made ground.

"I think we can come to an agreement," Beck said. "We'd like to have an agreement signed by the end of the month…I think both parties will be satisfied."

With the board having laid the groundwork for opening the facility, once they hire a pool director, funds are available and a lease is signed, they can set a sturdier open date.

"We're getting close," Beck said.

Kristen Wohlers
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