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Public asked to dive in to pool conversation

The public’s help in evaluating the need to renovate or replace Daniel Meyer Memorial Pool is needed, according to the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission, which has scheduled to two community workshops to discuss the status of the pool and take comments and suggestions.

The commission and the Pool Ad Hoc Committee will work together with the public to assess the aquatic needs of Ashland citizens workshops on:

5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the Ashland Senior Center, 1699 Homes Ave.; and

5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at The Grove, 1195 E. Main St.

At the workshops, attendees will have the chance to provide input on Ashland’s swimming facility needs and present their ideas to the pool committee.

The committee is looking to answer two specific questions:

How can aquatic/swimming facilities best serve Ashland?

What programming and features would users like to see?

Lonny Flora, Parks and Recreation recreation manager, said the pool committee, staff and community volunteers are assessing the state of the pool now to determine the necessary renovation or replacement. The public input sessions will help evaluate that as well.

“We want to find out what people are interested in, what their needs are and that will help us come up with an appropriate design,” Flora said.

He said as of now, there’s no structured plan.

Flora said that once all input is gathered, the committee will have a better idea of cost, where the funding will come from and need, which will all be presented to APRC, Right now, they don’t have that information.

“The pool is used year-round,” Flora said.

He said Parks operates the pool during the summer months, and outside of the summer months they lease the pool to the Ashland, Talent and Phoenix School Districts to use for swim practice as well as other swim teams.

“We’re wanting to see how aquatic facilities can serve Ashland and what people’s ideas for programs, features and anything related to aquatics are,” Flora said. “We really want to engage the public and we want whatever comes out of this process to reflect the wishes of Ashland.”

The Daniel Meyer Memorial Pool opened in 1984 at 1705 Homes Ave. in Hunter Park. A local man raised funds after his son drowned. He wanted to ensure all Ashland children had the opportunity to learn to swim.

In 2015, Parks and Recreation Commission voted to open the pool in the winter to serve high school competitive swim teams after Southern Oregon University (SOU) drained its pool and demolished the gym it was in.

The Pool Ad Hoc Committee was formed last fall to assess the needs of renovation and to explore available options. On the committee are community members Risa Buck, Marc Heller, Mike Hitsky, Rebecca Kay, Gary Simms, Matt Miller and Jocelyn Sanford; Commissioners Mike Gardiner and Rick Landt; Parks Director Michael Black; Recreation Superintendent Rachel Dials; Senior Services Superintendent Isleen Glatt; Parks Superintendent Mike Oxendine; Flora; and city of Ashland Finance Director Mark Welch.

For more information, visit Ashland.or.us/swim, call 541-488-5340 or email parksinfo@ashland.or.us.

Contact Tidings reporter Caitlin Fowlkes at cfowlkes@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4496. Follow her on Twitter @cfowlkes6.

(Feb. 8 Update:The story originally stated that Matt Miller was a commissioner on the committee, but he is no longer on the commission. He is on the pool committee as a community member and Rick Landt has replaced him on the committee as a commissioner representative.)

The Daniel Meyer Pool in Ashland is in need of renovation to continue operating. Photo by APRC Volunteer Bob Palermini