NEWBERG — George Fox University will donate $500,000 to help cover construction costs for the new Chehalem Aquatic and Fitness Center here. The contribution will be made in $100,000 increments to Chehelam Park and Recreation District over five years.
In November 2014, citizens in the park district passed a $19.9 million bond to redevelop Newberg’s 44-year-old community swimming pool facility. Because some construction bids came in higher than expected on the project, some proposed features were delayed or trimmed to cut costs. Work on the new facility began in fall 2016. Updates on the project are available online on the district website.
The university has contracted with the district for decades to allow students access to the pool and is adding NCAA intercollegiate swimming teams in 2018-19. After the facility opens in 2018, the university will pay additional fees to rent the facility for men’s and women’s swim teams.
“George Fox University has been a part of Newberg for more than 125 years and we want to continue to be a partner in the development of Newberg,” said George Fox President Robin Baker. “It is a privilege to help financially support a project that will benefit our students and advance our community as well.”
The renovation project will involve adding additional space for swim meets; redeveloping the facility to meet current demand and reduce overcrowding; improving pool design to provide better safety for students and seniors; replacing out-of-date machinery to improve energy efficiency; and replacing structurally deficient cement and rebar infrastructure. Parking for the 46-year-old facility also will be increased from 70 spaces to 148. The natatorium and deck is projected to be 25,000 square feet in size, while the competition pool itself will take up 6,900 square feet of space.