Club Past President and Chehalem Aquatic and Fitness Center renovation project manager Jim McMaster.

An update on one of Newberg’s biggest and most exciting projects–the Chehalem Aquatic and Fitness Center–was provided last week by Club Past President and Aquatic Center Project Manager Jim McMaster. Jim was also the project manager for the construction of the Chehalem Cultural Center, and started out by saying that project was “tame compared to this.”

He gave a section-by-section overview of the new facility, which is slated for completion in March, and includes three new pools: a Leisure pool, a Competitive pool and a Spa pool.

“The existing pool was built in 1970 when the Haworth and Villa Street area was farm. It was a large facility for that time” he said. “But, the community has outgrown the building and equipment.”

One view of the proposed new entrance.

Front Entrance  Jim said the newly designed entrance will allow kids to be dropped off in front more safely and the amount of parking will be quadrupled. 

Back side  A Care Home on Cherry St. donated some property to the project, which will allow easier access for everyday maintenance activities like garbage trucks, chlorine delivery, etc.

 Front Recreation Area  Will have lots of glass and be “real inviting.”

Rendering of new lobby (from CPRD website).

Lobby  Will serve as more of a community area. Will have a check-in desk and 2 large classrooms nearby with views out to the pool.

Leisure Pool  There will be programs and features for all ages, and Jim said this pool will get the most use by far. One very unique feature will be the “fire truck,” which was specially built for little kids and has a slide on it.  He said it is important to have a good swim lessons program. He came to the Aquatic Center in 1980 to manage it, and said kids were older then when they started lessons, maybe 6 or 7. Nowadays they start at ages 2 to 4.

For teens, there will be a diving board, 2 rock climbing walls, and drop slides. He thinks GFU students will like that, too.

The leisure pool will have a Figure 8 shape and a “Lazy River” for floating. 

Competitive Pool Jim said this pool will feature a floating bulkhead to adjust the size, and will be 6 feet, 7 inches deepIt will have a spectator area capable of seating 302. Both GFU and the high school teams will have a separate entrance.

Spa Pool  Will be 25% bigger than the current one. It will hold 14 people, and features different sized jets. 

Phase 2: The Gym and Fitness Area. CPRD will borrow $5 million to complete Phase 2, with an elevated walking track and room for yoga, cardio and free weights. The entire building will be brought up to seismic code.  Design is just beginning.

Total cost is estimated at $18.9 million. Opportunities to donate to the project and to be recognized for your support were presented. Ideas range from a park bench for $1400 to Lobby Naming Rights for $20,000. The two Newberg Rotary Clubs have already stepped up to help sponsor the building of the new, $143,000 park playground. For more info on this tax deductible opportunity, please contact Jim.


Jim also mentioned that his son, Spencer, has been accepted into the Peace Corps, and will be leaving for Swaziland soon.

Welcome back to Dan Keuler, who has been on paternity leave with his new son, Jackson.

And congrats to Shannon Buckmaster, who announced her daughter will be joining the Rotary student exchange program.



Becky Ankeny, seen at right with Dr. Stan Kern and Paul Jellum (front), deserves kudos for being so good at “doing the Duck.”  Her willingness to take on the job frequently with a unique blend of humor and irreverence has increased the amount of giggles, snickers, snorts, and donations! Thank you, Becky.






  •  Beth Pent, after care and pre-arrangement specialist with Attrell’s, is checking out both Newberg Rotary clubs and visited ours last week.
  • Heidi Czarnecki, wife of Jack, joined us for lunch.


 Past President Leah Griffith found the timely photo below of “Rotary Pumpkin Champs” in the Newberg Graphic 1965 archives in the Library. (Remember Stan Kern telling us about this contest?) Now there’s a club activity we could consider resurrecting!  


  • This week’s program sounds like a “Do Not Miss.”  The topic was suggested by John Kerekanich in the recent club survey for program ideas (thank you, John).  Alina Blankenship will discuss wildlife conservation featuring a live bird of prey. 


  • Don’t forget “Soup’s On,” the Fall fundraiser for Soroptimist International, this Saturday, Oct. 14 at 5pm.  Come enjoy a variety of gourmet soups made by professional and home chefs.  Soroptimists work to improve the lives of women and girls locally and around the world.  The venue is the Dundee Community Center, 1026 Hwy 99W in Dundee. Tickets for the event, which includes a silent auction, are $25. For more info, or to buy a ticket, go to or call Debby at 503-740-8182.


  • Dec. 2 is the annual Holiday Tree Lighting event in the Cultural District. Festivities get underway at 3pm; Santa arrives at 5:30pm. A holiday craft fair and a kids craft sale are also planned.


  • Providence Newberg Health Foundation is sponsoring “An Evening of Hope” on Dec. 13, from 5:30 to 8:30pm at the Chehalem Cultural Center. Well-known violinist Aaron Meyer will be performing. The event is to fund new technology which will help increase breast cancer detection and save more lives.  Tickets are $25, and are available at or by calling 503-537-1671.