Water works – Silverton Community Pool reopens with upgraded equipment

December 2021 Posted in Community, News

By Stephen Floyd

After months of waiting for a new boiler and battling supply chain shortages, the Silverton Community Pool has reopened to the delight of residents and staff.

Silverton Community Pool reopened Dec. 13 after a boiler failure forced them to close Aug. 26.

The pool closed Aug. 26 after the old boiler failed, and was not expected to reopen until late October or early November. But the new boiler ordered by the Silverton City Council was hit by supply chain delays and the manufacturer said it might not be ready for up to a year.

The city worked with their contractor to find a similar alternative and the pool reopened Dec. 13 with a state-of-the-art, energy efficient double-boiler. City Manager Ron Chandler said the redundant boilers are able to heat the pool individually if either needs to be shut down, and in his estimation this is a better solution.

“We’re thrilled to have the pool open again,” said Chandler. “It’s just such a huge part of our community.”

The city already intended to replace the old boiler, which was so outdated parts had to be fabricated for repairs. It had set aside $55,000, however, the old boiler failed before replacement plans were finalized.

Kaitlyn Barnes, Branch Director of the Silver Falls Family YMCA that operates the pool, said the city was a great partner in planning ahead, then working through delays to resolve the problem. She said the challenge has only improved its relationship with the YMCA.

“Thanks to the hard work and dedication shown by the city we can welcome everyone back to the pool,” said Barnes.

Head Lifeguard Annika Rogers said she’s excited not only for residents to return but also for staff to come back to a job they enjoy. She said hours were available for employees who needed them, but regular maintenance and deep cleaning were not as fulfilling as lifeguarding.

“It was definitely good to be back because I love working here,” said Rogers. “It was good for me, good for the community.”

Pool Office Manager and Aquasize Instructor Lisa Kearny said the four-month closure was a strain on local swimmers, including her students and school athletes, who had been going as far as Stayton, Molalla, Salem and Wilsonville for swimming access. With the pool finally reopened, she is thrilled they are able to return.

“We are very excited,” said Kearney.

Silverton Community Pool is located at 601 Miller St., Silverton. The regular schedule can be found at theyonline.org and on Facebook. Barnes added they are currently seeking to fill open lifeguard positions.

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