Funding for the Renewal of the Caveman Memorial Pool in Grants Pass is Underway

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Grants Pass City Council has finally agreed to explore funding avenues to rebuild the aging Caveman Memorial Pool which has been serving the community for 70 years. While the pool is open to the public this summer, it is leaking, and the boiler heating system is faulty.

At its recent meeting, councilors agreed to instruct city staff to investigate surplus funds from government projects that can be allocated towards the renovation or reconstruction of the swimming pool.


The Project Will Cost in Excess of $10 million

Grants Pass Superintendent Josh Hopkins has previously stated that the estimated cost of reconstruction at the current location near the high school is more than $10 million. Architects, contracted by the city council, recommend a budget of $13.6 million. This will include recreational facilities and a financial cushion to cover rising construction costs.

The Grants Pass Family YMCA administers Caveman Pool under contract to the city council and has proposed that a new YMCA building and a swimming pool be constructed south of Rogue River.

Mayor Sara Bristol says that for more than three years the Caveman Pool project has been ‘side-stepped’ by the city. She says while the city reaffirms council decisions to renew the pool, there always seems to be some other project to put funds for the pool on a backburner.


Mayor Pinpoints Funding Avenues

The mayor says Caveman Pool was added to the Grants Pass Urban Renewal project in 2022. The council set aside $5 million and has been trying ever since that time to move ahead with the project. Mayor Bristol says the council has identified $7 million in possible funding, leaving a shortfall of $3-to-4 million.

Avenues for funding include the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) from which Grants Pass received $9.4 million. To date, only $3.3 million has been utilized. Bristol points out that the ARPA funding must be used by the end of 2026 and suggests that some of that money be earmarked for Caveman Pool.

Another area of funding could be the Rogue Community College innovation hub, a project in which$3 million has been sitting unused for eight years. This project was dissolved before the pandemic.

Discussions over the way forward with the Caveman Pool project will continue when the city council reconvenes before the end of summer, says Bristol.


Summer Activities and Admittance Fees

Caveman Pool reopened to the public for summer on June 17 and will close on August 25. The YMCA organizes various activities at the pool, including swim lessons, and rents it out for private functions. Visit the website for more information about these activities.

The YMCA also has Dive-In Family Nights on selected Fridays, followed by the screening of a family movie.

Admittance fees to the pool area are $6.50 for people 18 years and older, and $5 for five-to-17 years of age. Admittance is free for children under the age of four if accompanied by an adult. A special family package is $12 for four people, while any additional guests pay the regular admittance fee.



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