Scope of Chehalis Outdoor Pool Hinges on Federal, State Grants —

Scope of Chehalis Outdoor Pool Hinges on Federal, State Grants

By Kyle Spurr
Centralia Chronicle
Process: Chehalis Foundation, City Continue to Wait for $500,000 in Grant Awards; Architect to be Chosen Soon

The Chehalis Outdoor Community Swimming Pool will be renovated this September, but to what level the outdoor pool is restored relies on two $250,000 grants expected to be awarded this month.

The city of Chehalis applied last year for a $250,000 Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program grant and a $250,000 federal Land and Water Conservation Fund grant.

The city finished third out of 44 applicants for the state grant and third out of 12 for the federal grant.

With the state and federal governments still managing grant budgets, Chehalis Foundation President Tim Sayler said, the nonprofit foundation along with the city are still waiting to hear if the grant money is awarded.

“It’s just so up in the air with the legislative process,” Sayler said. “It’s probably 50/50 right now, but we would still go ahead with the project just at a smaller level.”

Sayler said an overall redesign of the outdoor pool, including locker room bathrooms, storage lockers, privacy screens and a fiberglass lining for the community pool, would cost about $1.8 million.

Through donations, pledges and fundraising, the Chehalis Foundation has more than $500,000, not including the two pending grants.

The Chehalis Kiwanis Club recently gave $125,000 toward the project.

“We are dreaming big and we have not stopped fundraising,” Sayler said. “We are trying to get the whole community involved. It will be a new and better pool.”

While the foundation and city wait on the grant awards, City Manager Merlin MacReynold said he began interviewing four architecture firms last week to design and work as the project manager.

“I am doing reference checks to determine who to move forward to the council next week,” MacReynold said.

The city council is expected to approve MacReynold’s selection for architect at the next regular meeting on Monday at 6 p.m.

Construction on the outdoor pool, which was built in 1959, is scheduled to start after Labor Day when the pool closes for the year. The renovated pool will be ready to open next spring for the summer season.

In the coming weeks, the Chehalis Foundation is planning to contact the surrounding communities, including Napavine and Pe Ell residents who use the outdoor pool, and ask if they could donate toward the outdoor pool project.

“They are going to be touching base with all those communities for this amazing vision of what our pool could be,” MacReynold said.

Read the complete story at Centralia Chronicle
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