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Aug. 6, 2020

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Demolition of Crown Park pool in Camas begins

Officials looking at possibilities for new community center with aquatic option

By , Columbian Staff Writer
Published:
3 Photos
An old lifeguard chair is seen here inside the partially demolished Crown Park pool in Camas on Thursday afternoon. Demolition started this week on the pool, which opened in 1954 but hasn’t been in use since summer 2017. The work is expected to be wrapped up by April 1.
An old lifeguard chair is seen here inside the partially demolished Crown Park pool in Camas on Thursday afternoon. Demolition started this week on the pool, which opened in 1954 but hasn’t been in use since summer 2017. The work is expected to be wrapped up by April 1. (Nathan Howard/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

It’s been more than a year since the Crown Park pool saw its last swimmer, and now the pool is officially on its way out as demolition started this week.

The work is expected to be wrapped up by April 1.

The county’s only public outdoor swimming pool opened on May 22, 1954, and its last season was summer 2017. In January 2018, city councilors voted to not open the pool after learning that bringing the pool into compliance with health and safety codes would have cost somewhere in the range of $481,000 to $710,000, according to city Administrator Pete Capell.

Estimates for a complete renovation were in the range of $1.69 million to $2.19 million, almost enough to build an entirely new pool.

There have been a few options discussed for renovating Crown Park and replacing the pool. One option that wasn’t too popular with residents was to replace the pool with a splash pad. Lacamas Athletic Club owners contacted and met with the city about potentially buying the Crown Park pool, renovating it and reopening it, but that never came to fruition.

According to data provided by the city, Camas lost $62,829 operating the Crown Park pool in 2017. The pool has resulted in a loss for the city at least the last seven years, including 2014 when Lacamas operated the pool and the city lost $7,269. The city lost $56,003 in 2016, $109,994 in 2015, $27,404 in 2013, $48,297 in 2012 and $35,809 in 2011.

City officials are looking to build a new community center that could have some type of aquatic option. The cities of Camas and Washougal, both school districts and the Port of Camas-Washougal have formed a joint task force to look into building a new community center.

In the meantime, residents found other ways to recreate nearby last summer, but plenty still clamor for the city to have a pool.

In February, the city hosted a farewell party to officially say goodbye to the Crown Park pool.

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