Building a Better Pool for Ashland
Making a splash, learning new moves, pool parties, relaxing and feeling good. No wonder community pools matter.
Learning to swim is a life skill—and a survival skill. Drowning is the leading cause of death in Oregon for children four and under.
Lap swimming may be the best exercise ever. At the Daniel Meyer Memorial Pool, the first swimmers take their lanes at 5:30 a.m., the last at 7:00 p.m.
Water polo is one of the world's toughest sports. Ashland High School's water polo teams compete at the highest level, but they can't host meets: the Daniel Meyer Memorial pool isn't deep enough.
Daniel Meyer Pool Update: May 2021
Not surprisingly, COVID 19 has taken a large toll on the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission. It has had to close programs to reduce the risk of infection, lay off employees, and place projects on hold — including municipal swimming.
The good news, though, is that the Daniel Meyer Pool is scheduled to re-open this summer, probably in June, mindful of necessary COVID precautions.
Currently, the Ashland and Phoenix/Talent high schools have been renting the pool from the APRC for swim practice, along with Rogue Valley Master Swimmers. The arrangement is filling a critical gap in the availability of other pools in the Valley for competitive practice for high school swimmers: it is one of few available, with others sidelined for repairs or the challenges of being COVID-safe.
SURVEY OF SWIM SKILLS AMONG LOCAL YOUTH: One of the driving forces behind saving and re-invigorating Daniel Meyer is swim safety. One in five drowning deaths are children under the ages of 14. With 55 rivers in Oregon, 363 miles of Pacific Ocean waterfront, and 1,400 lakes, Oregon children are at special risk. SOAC is seeking support and authorization from the Ashland School Board to conduct a survey of all 6th graders, asking their parents whether their child could pass “The 5 Basic Swim Skills Test”: (1) Step or jump into water over their head; (2) Return to the surface and float or tread water for one full minute; (3) Turn around in a full circle and find an exit; (4) Swim 25 yards to that exit without stopping; and (5) Exit from the water; if in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder. Stay tuned to learn if/when this survey will be conducted of Ashland 6th graders. A demonstration of these skills is on this website under “Videos, Water Safety.”
ONGOING COMMITMENT: The commitment of the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission to rebuild the Daniel Meyer Pool—whether it be for swim lessons, recreation and leisure, aquatic rehabilitation for seniors, or aquatic sports—remains as strong as ever. For now, though, funding and construction is dependent upon Ashland’s economic recovery, specifically when Food and Beverage Tax revenue is once again robust and can be used towards the previously approved revenue bond.
Nonetheless, on December 8th, 2020 the APRC hosted an online public meeting to present the latest draft of the new Daniel Meyer pool design, created by Robert Sherwood Pool Designs, Inc. Viewers had a chance to see detailed blueprints and schematics for the pool, plus ask questions about all aspects of the project. APRC indicated that this was the first of an ongoing effort to keep the public informed.
BACKGROUND: Since 1983, Ashland’s Daniel Meyer Memorial Pool has offered a cold splash against the summer heat, swimming lessons, lap and recreational swimming, water polo, gentle swim for seniors and more. Thirty-seven years later, it has aged out and public swimming in Ashland is at a cross roads.
In 2018, a Pool Ad-Hoc Committee was appointed by the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission. It has surveyed residents and conducted listening sessions to gain community-wide input on what to do—from making simple repairs to imagining a year-round aquatic facility.
In September, 2019, the Pool Ad-Hoc Committee submitted their final recommendations to the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commissioners. The five commissioners were unanimous in their support of the committee’s recommendations and funding was approved. The $2.9M project is to be funded by a revenue bond, backed by the food and beverage tax.
CLICK HERE to see the full recommendations.
Building a better pool requires community-wide input and investment. Please join us in this vital campaign!