Help Us Build The Pool


We have the oldest public pool on the west coast, and it is well past the time for retirement. Consider that the decision to build it was made on December 13th, 1929, four months after the stock market crash which started the Great Depression. In the 1920 building that now houses NCRD, a group of committed citizens presented a petition to the board members of School District Number 39, and the board voted that evening to construct the pool.
It was common knowledge that two local boys had drowned in a river that year, and the citizens wanted to teach all their children how to swim to save others from drowning. That is exactly what has been happening in our pool for the last 88 years, and the writing above the pool entrance (shown on the right) still sums it
up perfectly.

Our Mission: Teach Every
Child to Swim.

We partner with Nehalem Elementary offering weekly swim and water safety classes to all students K-5. All students know how to swim by the end of the fifth grade. To the best of our knowledge, this invaluable survival skill has helped prevent any more of these children from drowning, dating all the way back to 1930, and we believe this is the only program of its kind
in Oregon.
Our pool is now 88 years old. The State of Oregon has permitted us to continue to operate it because we have assured them we are actively pursuing a replacement. The location of the old pool, which is well below grade level, and its structural limitations make remodeling logistically and financially unfeasible. It would cost more to overhaul the old pool than to build a new, modern pool that meets current codes, has many more amenities, greatly enhanced aesthetics, far more room for many more patrons, and much more efficient heating and sanitizing systems.
The NCRD pool, located in beautiful Nehalem and serving all of North County, is an integral part of our greater community as well as an important economic asset. How could we allow this treasure to go out of existence now, when our ancestors paid for it and built it during the Great Depression? And more recently, in 1996, when it looked like the pool and building were going to be abandoned and lost forever, this community once again rose to the challenge. A group of committed citizens founded NCRD as a special district so that the pool and the other programs to follow it would continue into the future. NCRD has a 20-year record of viable growth and financial stability.
We are now at the next major challenge- raising about $8.5 million to build our new pool. We have a comprehensive plan to accomplish this over the next three years. We already have almost $1.6 million set aside in a reserve fund, and a plan for the balance that includes donations, foundation grants, government grants, and a variety of other sources.

Building the new pool is not a new idea. Dating back to 2005 we have held town hall meetings, we have discussed it at innumerable board meetings, we have hired consultants, we have had two conceptual plans commissioned with well-known Oregon pool architect Carl Sherwood, and we have heard input from literally hundreds of supportive citizens. The new pool and natatorium will be big, stunningly beautiful, and include a number of new features. These include increasing from four to six lanes; adding a greatly expanded warm water pool for smaller children and exercise/therapy programs; a water slide for all ages to enjoy; lots of windows and light; wide decks along the sides of the pool; space for spectators to observe aquatic events; an outside deck for relaxing; a lobby with a concession stand; and new heating and utility systems. We have reached a time of opportunity, and we have launched our New Pool Capital Campaign. We are reaching out to our constituents across North County and beyond with printed materials and a documentary video about NCRD that includes a segment about the new pool.

We realize that we need to raise a substantial sum, and that the ability to donate will vary tremendously from person to person. An important part of our strategy which will help us with major foundation grants is demonstrating broad community support. In other words, we need to show a significant number of donors just as much as we need to show a significant amount of money donated. This is a critical element for foundations in deciding what they will fund. The idea is that if the respective community is not supportive of the project, then the foundation will not support it either. This is why all donations, regardless of size, are very important.
Donations are tax-deductible to the extent authorized by law. Donors should seek advice from a financial advisor.
A variety of options for donating are listed below. [paypal-donation]

  1. PLEDGE:
    A written pledge may be made for any amount and can include the date when the pledge will be honored. Pledges are very valuable in reporting support to foundations.
  2. $200 – MEMORIAL PAVER:
    These are engraved pavers which will be placed in the main entryway to the new pool. Donors can specify the name or names to be engraved in the paver and these will be visible to all visitors to the pool into perpetuity.
  3. $500 – BENEFACTOR:
    Inside the lobby we will have a large permanent display plaque which will show the names of people, businesses, organizations, and foundations which contributed $500 or more.
  4. $1,000 – SILVER SWIMMER
  5. $5,000 – GOLDEN SWIMMER
  6. $10,000 – PLATINUM SWIMMER 7. $50,000 – CHAIRMAN’S CIRCLE
    A memorial sculpture design would be pre-approved by the respective donor and would prominently feature a plaque memorializing the donor, family members, or whomever the donor chooses.
  8. $1,000,000 – THE (your name here) POOL:
    Yes, you can name the pool! We are well-aware that this level of donation is very rare, but we also know there are many buildings in Oregon which are named to honor a donor of this magnitude. Even if one of our supporters does not have the means to do this, some of our supporters probably know people who do have the means. We are hoping that this opportunity could be presented to them.

There are other options, of course,
and we would be happy to discuss any kind of a contribution you may have in mind. There are financial instruments, for example, such as a CRAT (Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust) which can be very attractive for persons with a high capital gain asset. We will not provide financial advice, but can give some general information that could be pursued with your attorney or financial planner.
We estimate that in the last 88 years, over 10,000 Nehalem Elementary students have learned to swim in our pool. This completely amazing statistic represents far more than a mere number- it represents all of these individuals who become adults, their respective families, extended families, children, and grandchildren, who were all impacted so positively. We have a large number of two, three, four, and even five generation families, all of whom learned to swim in our pool! This is a priceless tradition that we are committed to continue.

Matriarch Ruth Lewis (center) with five generations of her family. Ruth started swimming in our pool in 1935

Many of our pool users are using it as a significant benefit to
their health. We provide classes and trainers for a wide range of aquatic activities including:
A.M. Aqua-Fit Workout – School Swim Program – Open Swim. – Adult Swim Lessons Parent/Toddler Swim – Therapy/Arthritis Program. – Water Walking – Lap Swim. – Family Swim. – Deep Water Aqua-Cise – Aqua Yoga – Swim Team And others!
Potential additional uses in the new pool could include swim meets/competitions, water polo, and others.

In our local economy with its emphasis on tourism, a big, beautiful pool is a significant asset as a community amenity. Visitors frequent our pool as well as local residents, and we hear over and over how pleasantly surprised they are to learn that our relatively small community has such an amazing attraction. Currently, there are many times during the busy tourist season when the pool is at capacity and we are, therefore,
cautious about advertising it. This past summer, for example, there were many times when we had up to 75 swimmers at a time in the pool. It is, simply stated, just too small. We believe the new modern pool will become the gem of the three villages and will help support critically needed increases in off-season visitors.

Our pool is also used by our local firefighters to train and practice water rescues. We make our pool and Fitness Center facilities available to our local first responders at no cost so they can train and stay fit. This is particularly important in smaller communities because such a high percentage of our first responders are volunteers. In addition to teaching children to swim, we also teach them about water safety. This covers a wide variety of things everyone should know when they are on or near the water, such as wearing life jackets. Another benefit of the pool, not well-known, is that it can be an important source of water in a disaster. Our building is designated as a tsunami shelter and an American Red Cross Shelter, and in a disaster we are prepared to serve in this capacity. The most critical item needed after a catastrophic event is water, and our pool could be a huge source at such a time. We sincerely hope that you will consider supporting the new pool campaign with a generous donation. Every dollar will go toward this local benefit and will be saved in our Capital Asset Reserve fund as a restricted amount. None of these donations are used for administrative expenses. We will be happy to meet with anyone who would like to make a donation or get more information. Please contact David Wiegan, 971-308-0310 or or Barbara McCann at 971-308-0304 or We have a 30 minute documentary video about NCRD and its many programs and we will be happy to give you one, or send one to someone you suggest may have an interest. The video provides brief segments about some of our estimated 76 different activities and programs, and concludes with a two minute virtual reality simulated “fly-through” 3-D graphic of what it will be like to enter and explore the new pool.

Thanks to everyone
for the past support, and thank you in advance for helping
make the new pool a reality.
Jack Bloom, Board Chair Wally Burton, Vice-Chair Mary Gallager, Secretary John Coopersmith, Treasurer
Jennifer Holm, Director David Wiegan, Executive Director Barbara McCann, Aquatics Director/ Assistant Executive Director
And the entire NCRD staff, volunteers, and patrons

Main Pool
75′ long x 45′ wide
Warm Water Pool
48′ long x 24′ wide