February 25, 2024

Portland Parks and Recreation is constructing a new indoor aquatics facility, leaving the Northern Portland community without year-round pool access until at least 2029. This is significant because the area has been identified as having inadequate access to aquatic facilities. In the interim, the city has made North Portlanders eligible for a free pass at the Matt Dishman Community Center.
The closure of the almost hundred-year-old Columbia Pool in 2020 has left the community without a year-round facility, leading to strained swim team practice space and the need for community involvement in the decision-making process.
The proposed facility will have a 35-meter pool, a pool for slides and water-play features, and accommodations for persons with disabilities. The new location at Northgate Park was selected through community input and equity factors.
Dana Vollmer-Grant, an Olympic gold medalist, is involved in the project. The community has expressed distress over the loss of the Columbia Pool and there is a group calling for the money spent on the new pool to be reallocated to renovating the Columbia Pool.
The project is transitioning into the third phase, which involves developing design, choosing administrative construction and contractors, and finishing construction documents and permitting, expected to last until Winter 2026.

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