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District to operate pool during city negotiations

Transition agreement draft to be presented to Sandy City Council

Sandy pool enthusiasts can rest easy knowing that, despite the approaching district deadline imposed two years ago, the Olin Y. Bignall Aquatic Center will remain open as stakeholders negotiate for its future.

In November 2013, the Oregon Trail School District Board of Directors announced that because of tightening budgets, the district could spend up to $400,000 to operate the pool for two years. After that, pool operations were to be suspended.

Community pool supporters and city stakeholders formed a task force following the announcement. One of the ideas that came out of those meetings was that the city of Sandy could purchase the pool and invest in renovating the space into a new community center.POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - The Olin Y. Bignall Aquatic Center, sandwiched between Sandy Grade and Cedar Ridge, will remain open as parties negotiate for its purchase.

As of now, the city of Sandy and the school district are in negotiations for the purchase of the pool, located at 39055 Pleasant St., and neighboring Cedar Ridge Middle School property.

City Manager Seth Atkinson said the two parties are working on a transition agreement for the purchase. The city cannot make an offer until it has done all the necessary assessments on the property. The assessments can’t be done until students are moved out of the building, and students can’t be moved out of the building until the district renovates the old Sandy High School building on Bluff Road with funds from the purchase.

A transition agreement would transfer a portion of the city’s purchase funds to the district to get renovations underway.

One draft version of the agreement has already gone before the district’s board of directors, and Atkinson hopes it can be presented to the Sandy City Council at one of its October meetings.

“Things are moving forward,” Atkinson said. “I always say this is a slow moving train, and people probably get tired of hearing me say that, but we just have to make sure it’s all going to work out for both of our entities.

“We just think this will be a great thing for the community.”

But while negotiations are in effect, the Oregon Trail School District will continue to operate the pool even if the cost or time limits set in 2013 are surpassed.

“We will keep it open while we’re in negotiations,” said Julia Monteith, district communications director. “We’re not going to let the pool close down if there’s someone out there we know wants to take it on.”

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