PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With many places reopening following closures during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, one North Portland spot will remain closed permanently: Columbia Pool.
The pool, which was built in 1927, has served the Portland community for 93 years.
In 2020, the pool closed due to the COVID pandemic and never opened its doors again.
The decision to close the pool came after 2021 inspections revealed “life-safety hazards and diminishing structural integrity.”
Portland Parks Commissioner Carmen Rubio shared how tough the decision was, but also shared that a new aquatics center would be in the works.
“Columbia Pool was beloved by generations of swimmers and families,” Rubio said. “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 city council also approved a $1.5 million fund to make sure that people impacted by the closure of the pool can access other Portland Parks and Recreation pools.
“It’s a gut-wrenching loss,” Portland Parks & Recreation Director Adena Long said in a statement. “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.”