Molalla pool to open weekend of Easter, April Fools' Day
Since passing a measure to form the Molalla Aquatic District in May, the community has been eagerly awaiting the pool's reopening. It is finally here.
According to Melissa Georgesen, the Aquatic Center's newly hired director, the pool will open with an Easter Egg Swim on Easter weekend, which is also April Fools' weekend. But don't fear some kind of prank; Georgesen is feeling pretty confident they really can open that day.
"It is totally like that running joke," Georgesen said. "Somebody said, 'Melissa, you can't say that you're going to open on April Fools' Day.' And I said, if you know me, yes I can. I can totally say that. I find humor in it as well, because it does feel like it's been the carrot that we've dangling in front of the community."
The only thing that could possibly cause a delay is contracted work on the old Formica countertops, which need to be replaced due to deterioration and dry rot. Georgesen wants to jump into the pool just like everyone else, but her priority is safety.
"My daughter (age 3) hasn't been able to take swimming lessons in our pool," Georgesen said. "So, I feel it just as much as everybody else in the community. I want that pool back. So, I am making every stride and every effort to get that opened to everybody as soon as we can. My priority is health and safety of the people coming in. I want all those little kids and everyone's grandparent to be safe in that facility."
The pool was built in 2003, was open for several years, and then closed in fall 2014. Georgesen noted that systems, which were designed to run at all times, sat unused and therefore have required repair. The school district did open the pool in 2016 on a very limited basis for use by the high school swim team. This did not require hired staff, money exchange and a slew of other resources required to open the pool to the public. Georgesen said that everyone, including the school district, the aquatic district and lately herself, have been working tirelessly to make sure everything "goes off without a hitch."
Now, much of the work is complete, and the next step is to hire a staff. They are beginning the interview process and intend to hire by the middle of March.
Training courses are available for anyone interested in becoming a lifeguard or teacher. A lifeguard training class was held in February that turned out 16 candidates. The next class, which is a 30-hour training through the American Red Cross, will take place in April at a date to be determined. Also, for those who wish to teach classes but may not want to be a lifeguard, there will be a water safety instructor course on March 22-25 for a cost of $150.
For the rest of the community who wants to help or become involved, there are several ways.
Additionally, people can attend the public board meetings on Tuesdays, volunteer at the pool for tasks like landscaping and even secretarial work or teaching swim classes and offer feedback through the Facebook page: Molalla Aquatic Center, or the website: molallapool.com.
Finally, grab your suit and come to the opening.