Clemens Community Pool

Clemens Community Pool remained closed last week despite the completion of a maintenance project to fix locker rooms and reduce slippage on the deck.

The Philomath School District hired a new swim coach, who will also fill the role of pool operator, but finds itself in a holding pattern until direction is provided by the state health department, Superintendent of Schools Buzz Brazeau said Friday.

“The biggest thing we’re waiting for right now is we have contacted the health department in regards to the process of reopening and we need to have the state pool inspector give us that process,” Brazeau said. “As of leaving the office today (Friday), I hadn’t heard back.”

Brazeau said he doesn’t believe it to be a lengthy process.

“I can’t imagine why it would be but I don’t want to pick a date and not be able to adhere to those dates,” he said. “We’re in a holding pattern ... the work is done, that’s a good thing, but what do we have to do to reopen is the biggest question right now.”

The best-case scenario would see the pool reopened by Monday, Oct. 14. That’s the earliest possible date based on when the new coach and pool director, Akari Seiner, might be able to start her new job after giving her current employer notice.

Brazeau said the incoming director does have a need for certification, which involves a class that’s apparently not easy to find since two key trainers moved this summer from Corvallis to Eugene.

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“I do have a list I created with classes from Seaside to Portland and all the way down to San Francisco,” Brazeau said. “If they (health department) tell me I have to do that beforehand, it’s a one-and-a-half day class and I have researched where I can get it if I have to.”

The maintenance project included repairs to walls and molding in the boys’ and girls’ locker rooms and resurfacing of the pool decking to make it more safer from slips. School maintenance staff completed the work on time in September.

As for the larger project that looms on the horizon, the next step in that process involves a visit from Water Technology Inc. A consultant will complete an evaluation and offer guidance on a potential solution.

“They’re supposed to be making their first visit in October, so they’ll make that and then possibly one more visit and we’ll expect to get the report from them,” Brazeau said.

Brazeau wants to have the report by Dec. 1 to be able to approach the school board about the next steps to take.

“I’m trusting we’ll get there,” he said. “They’ll look at everything — the pool, the filtration system, the gutters, and we’ll get a recommendation on how to best solve those issues.”

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