Looking for a cool dip in a public pool? Don't try the Buckman Pool—today or any time soon.
The Buckman Pool, located at the school in Southeast Portland, will remain closed indefinitely after Portland Public Schools identified additional hazardous materials at the site while inspecting its lead paint.
The $393,000 cost of necessary repairs is prohibitively expensive, officials now say.
PPS officials closed the pool on July 17 after county inspectors found peeling lead paint. They have since identified asbestos in the locker rooms and pool area.
"In addition to abatement of these materials, the school's HVAC system is inadequate to manage the humidity from the pool and until addressed, will cause paint to peel and fumes to permeate the school," says PPS spokeswoman Courtney Westling.
"Based on rough estimates of $393,000 for addressing hazardous materials and a new HVAC solution, PPS has determined that it doesn't have the funding for repairs necessary for the pool to be safely reopened."
It's the last pool PPS owns. Portland Parks and Recreation owns the Wilson High School pool as well as the pool in Grant Park.
The Buckman Pool has long been a pawn in city budget negotiations. As WW noted in 2013: "It has been targeted for cuts since at least 2006, and because it's tiny and not used very much, it's the Parks & Recreation Bureau's most expensive pool to operate per swimmer."
But the pool's operating expenses have never been cut from city budgets—the very mention of the pool's closure sparked an outcry from the Buckman Community Association, and the threat of cuts was often seen as a bluff by elected officials trying to rally citizens at budget time.