Nearly 100-year-old Portland pool permanently closes

The Columbia Pool.
The Columbia Pool.(Portland Parks & Recreation)
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 4:28 PM PST
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – The Columbia Pool, a North Portland swimming facility for nearly 100 years, is permanently closed, Portland Parks & Recreation announced Thursday. The pool first closed in 2020 due to COVID and has remained unused since, although the closure was thought to be temporary.

The permanent closure comes after years of deliberation and inspection, Portland Parks & Rec said. Thorough inspections of the pool first began in 2008. A 2021 inspection found “life-safety hazards,” deeming the building unsafe for use.

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“Columbia Pool was beloved by generations of swimmers and families,” said Portland Parks Commissioner Carmen Rubio. “We can’t simply shut it down after 93 years and not put something in its place. I’ve directed Portland Parks & Recreation to plan a new, full-service aquatics center for North Portland, and I will continue to explore funding options for it in addition to the more than $31 million in City and State funds already secured.”

The structural failure isn’t isolated, Portland Parks & Rec. said, pointing to nearly $500 million in necessary but unfunded repairs.

“It’s a gut-wrenching loss,” says Portland Parks & Recreation Director Adena Long. “There’s no way around that. But I think something really beautiful can come from this. A new, full-service aquatic center will represent the largest investment PP&R has ever made in North Portland.”