Talk of a competitive type swimming pool being built in Gridley began with an informational meeting held February 15, 1967 according to Gridley Herald archives.
Plans included a 20x50 wading pool, less than two feet deep and an olympic size t-shape pool measuring 42 feet wide and approximately 165 feet long with the top of the “t” measuring 42x75 with a depth of 3 and a half feet to four and five feet.
Butte County Supervisors held a public hearing February 21, 1967 to establish the tax debt service area to provide operating funds for the pool to be built on Gridley Union High School district boundaries.
Estimated cost came in at $79,000 with plans that included a competition pool, a wading pool and fencing.
Gridley's former City Pool located in what is now known as Vierra Park had been closed the summer of 1966 when the City's budget did not include the fund to operate the pool.
Estimated maintenance costs were approximately $7,000 per year.
The Gridley Pheasant Hunting Area donated $35,000 towards the new swimming pool.
The May 12, 1967 Gridley Herald stated with an aerial view of the land “Whose Pool? The Butte County Fair parking lot is the setting for the construction of the new olympic swimming pool which no one wants to maintain or operate. Outlining the pool site are members of the first period boys PE class. The stakes, strings and boards indicate that the pool will be built above ground about 32 inches because of the high water table.”
The newspaper further reported that the pool would have two competition race lengths but that the pool was behind schedule because of the weather, “but the question of whether it will be opened to the public or not is still in doubt because no person or agency has been set up to maintain and operate the $80,000 project.”
The Gridley City Council approved re-opening the Çity Pool one more summer with a summer budget of $5,600 for lifeguards, chemicals and utilities and $600 to repair the pump and other maintenance costs and office overhead.
Fast forward to 2014, when the condition of the pool must be faced. Over the years the pool has been fixed temporarily but it is now past the end of life with assessment money drained by the repairs of the past.
The question being asked by some of the GUARDIAN members is, what does Gridley want to do about the pool?
A current bond on taxpaxer's bills barely covers the chemicals, maintenance and cost of lifeguards for the year. Maintenance has been handled by the Butte County Fair staff for many years.
The cost to run the pool each year comes in at over $50,000.
A separate or larger bond to cover a new pool is being discussed amongst some members of the community, but of course the passing of an additional bond is questionable.
There is no doubt that Gridley needs a pool, not only for the safety of our children, but Gridley Gators are an integral part of many children's lives and have been for 45 years. It would be such a disappointment for these many swimmers if they did not have a home pool to practice and hold meets.
Gridley High School has a swim team that has done very well the past few years and it would be a shame if they didn't have a home pool to practice in also.
In May of 2011, two large seams failed which meant expansion joints were fixed with fiberglass. Last winter the stress cracks were leaking a foot of water a week.
Repairs in the past year were relatively minor in comparison.
A remote control handicapped chair lift has been installed for those who need extra help into the pool.
The answers or solutions are not readily available but questions and concerns are being raised as to what to do next.