By Vinde Wells
"Awesome!" was all 9-year-old Isaac Nelson had to say as he headed down the diving board at the recently updated swimming pool at Oregon Park District's Nash Recreation Center.
Isaac was one of more than 300 people who turned out Aug. 9 for the pool's grand re-opening.
The pool was closed much of the summer for renovations, which included removal of the planter boxes, fresh paint, a new floor on the deck, a handicapped lift for the hot tub, and large glass windows, as well as changes to the filters and pumps in the basement.
The grand reopening of the pool included free swimming and all other activities at Nash for the day, free refreshments, music, and raffles.
Park District executive Director Erin Folk said the event proved popular with the community.
"It was fantastic," she said. "We had a much better turn-out than we ever anticipated. People of all ages came to use the facilities and see the improvements. Overall it was a nice family evening."
Superintendent of Recreation Mike Guzman said several summer camps in the area took advantage of the opportunity to bring campers for a swim.
The pool reopened Aug. 5, and swimming was free all week.
The pool was packed Aug. 9 with families, kids, and well-seasoned adults. Everyone seemed well-satisfied with the changes.
Eleven-year-old Megan Boren, Polo, liked the updated color scheme that features bright lime green walls and lots of windows.
"I like it," she said. "The walls are painted, and I like the color better."
Her friend Emily Witmer, also 11, Polo, also approved of the changes. "I like it that you can go outside," she said.
The two had just come in from the large patio area adjoining the pool space.
Matt McKenzie, Oregon, brought his children. "I think it's real good," he said. "My kids love it."
Jane Bale, Oregon, was all suited up and ready to swim. She said she regularly attends water aerobics sessions at the pool.
"I love it!" she declared. "I think the clear windows expand the vista. It looks bigger. I think they did a wonderful job."
Aerobics instructor Rosann Costello also approved.
"The reason we're here today is to expose the programs and show everyone how beautiful it is," she said.