The long-awaited reopening will start with a phased reintroduction of programming
After more than a year of construction, Sheldon Pool & Fitness Center is ready to reopen.
The 55-year-old facility in the Cal Young neighborhood closed in late Spring 2021 for expansion and renovation, thanks to funding from the Parks and Recreation Bond measure passed by Eugene voters in May 2018.
“We’re really excited to finally unveil Sheldon Pool to the community,” Recreation Director Craig Smith said. “The unique warm-water pool and current channel provide versatile programming space that serves fitness, recreation and swim lesson needs. The Sheldon Pool renovation creates program opportunities that don’t exist at Echo Hollow or Amazon, meaning they're a good addition to our overall aquatics' services.”
The project cost $10.1 million and improvements include:
- Expanding the facility’s southeast corner to add a 4,980 square-foot natatorium that includes a new indoor warm-water pool with a current channel.
- Adding a hot tub to the main pool deck on the east side of the building.
- Renovating both locker rooms and adding family changing rooms.
- Repainting the two main pool tanks.
- Updating and expanding the HVAC and pool systems needed to handle the increased capacity.
- Expanding paved parking on the east side of the building between it and the Sheldon High School football field.
- Constructing to LEED Silver standards, including the addition of solar photovoltaics panels on the roof and a highly efficient electric heat pump system, which will significantly help reduce carbon emissions.
The project did experience several delays that held the opening from early spring 2022 to early fall, and Eugene Rec acknowledges the extended closure of one of the City’s three pools was an added hardship to the community. As construction neared its finish, continued delays with the subcontractor hired for the project along with critical supply chain issues and staff problems set back the completion timeline. Specifically, items related to the new warm-water pool and current channel that needed to be addressed before Sheldon Pool was ready to be opened to the public.
“We were disappointed the delays prevented the pool from opening sooner,” Smith said, “but we didn’t want to open a pool that wasn’t safe or ready to use.”
Robertson Sherwood Architects, the same firm that managed the Echo Hollow Pool renovation, was the City’s partner in updating Sheldon Pool. The general contractor was GBC Construction.
In the lead-up to approving the May 2018 Bond and Levy measures, the Eugene City Council increased the amount asked for because it felt it was important to include Sheldon Pool in the plan. The facility was built in 1967 with money from another bond, and since then repairs, replacements and upgrades have been made that enhanced energy efficiency and maintained operation. Many essential systems, though, such as plumbing, electrical and equipment were beyond their expected useful lifespan and needed replacement. Sheldon Pool did close in 2010 for seismic upgrades and again in 2012 to repair serious leaks, but a full overhaul of the building ensures the facility can accommodate the growing needs of the community as a key part of the City-wide aquatics program.
Located next to Sheldon High School and connected to Sheldon Community Center, this year-around indoor facility now has a three-pool design that features a deep diving well and lap pool, which allows for both deep and shallow water fitness programming. Add in the new warm-water pool, and it’s a versatile part of aquatics. Sheldon Pool also provides a variety of aquatic programming such as swim lessons, recreation swims and lap swims in addition to a fitness center and partnering with Sheldon Community Center for summer camps. The pool also serves host to many swim meets for local club and high school teams.
For more information about the 2018 Parks and Recreation Bond and Levy or the 30-year System Plan, visit eugparksandrec.org.
Eugene Rec is always hiring. If interested, please visit getrec.org/recjobs to see our current lifeguard and other openings.