If you’ve driven by Echo Hollow Pool and Fitness Center recently it probably looks just a bit diﬀerent.
For months now the exterior of the pool has been a beehive of activity as construction crews have bulldozed, excavated and poured concrete. It might look a bit chaotic now, but you know there’s a grand plan to it all, and we’re thrilled with the progress that will breathe new life into the 50-year-old facility.
Expected completion of the project still is projected for winter 2021.
Construction started on Feb. 24, and it didn’t take long for things to change. Two weeks into the ﬁrst phase of construction the chain link fence was down and the entire deck space had been bulldozed in preparation for the moving of utilities. The pools were emptied and the interior prepped for the expansion.
This project is one that patrons have gotten excited about. The addition of year-round swimming lanes to the outdoor pool and a brand-new recreation pool will make Echo Hollow a popular spot in the summer months. To meet the higher demand the City is also investing in the locker room space, and part of the plan includes a large lawn outside for people to enjoy.
The most visible part of the expansion are the two outdoor pools. The frame of the expanded, multi-use pool has been poured. With more swimming lanes and a deep end to accommodate a higher diving board, the outdoor tank will be a highlight of Echo Hollow’s year-round schedule.
Behind the big pool is the brand-new activity pool that will include a slide and a zero-entry area that allows patrons to walk right in. Over the coming weeks that area will come together.
Of course the outside features are the easiest to see but the complete renovation of the interior along with a new roof will ensure Echo Hollow can last for another 50 years. The interior tank is getting upgraded with a new lining and a more adaptive-friendly entry. The locker rooms have been completely gutted in preparation for their makeovers, which will include more locker space, more bathrooms and better privacy for families.
To meet the energy demand for increased pool space, money from both the Echo Hollow and Campbell Community Center projects was combined to create a large solar array on the roof of the pool. Oregon State Law requires public entities spend 1.5 percent of public building construction costs on green energy technology for major renovations. This will have a big cost-saving eﬀect for the City as Echo Hollow was one of the City’s highest energy using buildings.
While the focus has been on providing expanded space for patrons, building upgrades are necessary to replace systems at the end of their lifecycle that are old and risk failure without renovation, as well as to address energy eﬃciency issues and meet energy code requirements. We must ensure it can continue to serve the community for years to come. These upgrades include energy eﬃcient lighting, plumbing replacements, pool equipment replacements for the indoor pool and new equipment to support the additional pool area added outside.
The lobby space addition is included to increase safety and visibility for staﬀ members at the front desk and to allow additional family change rooms to be built and accessed from the travel path between the front door and pool deck (where staﬀ oﬃces and desk are currently located).
All of this comes as part of a grander vision for Eugene’s Parks and Recreation System Plan. In May 2018 voters passed a $39.35 million bond and $3.15 million levy to provide major support to Parks and Open Space and Eugene Rec projects.
As the project marches toward completion others will begin. Over the coming months and years, we will be asking for your thoughts once again on speciﬁc projects as we start to dig in. Stay tuned, and thanks again for your vote of support!
If you’re interested in learning more about the broader Parks and Rec System Plan or getting more engaged with speciﬁc projects, you can ﬁnd all of that information on the Rec Bonds Project website.
Next in line: Sheldon Pool
The project team took feedback from community outreach meetings held earlier this year and is currently developing plans for the Sheldon Pool Renovation and Expansion. Robertson Sherwood Architects, the same ﬁrm managing the Echo Hollow renovation, is in charge of the project. Designs will be shared with the public this fall, and construction is anticipated to begin early in 2021 after Echo Hollow Pool construction is complete.