Seaside signal. (Seaside, Or.) 1905-current, June 21, 2019, Page A7, Image 7

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    Friday, June 21, 2019 | Seaside Signal | • A7
Sunset Rec turns 50!
The Sunset Empire Park and Recreation
District was established for the purpose
of providing the fi rst public pool for the
Seaside community. The pool offi cially
opened Sept. 28, 1977. Now, it is the site
of numerous fi tness classes, open swim
sessions, and other community activities.
TOP Broadway
participate in an activity at the Sunset Pool in
child enjoys preschool in a 2015 class. Bowling in
Broadway Park, 2014. Campers at Sunset Empire
Park and Recreation District Summer Camp in
2015. The Daddy-Daughter Dance has become a
signature event for the Sunset Empire Park and
Recreation District. The second family triathlon
will be held Saturday, June 22, followed by the
district’s 50th birthday celebration, which will take
place across several sites owned and managed by
the district.
Rec district to mark birthday with family triathlon, barbecue, more
For Seaside Signal
At 50 years old, the Sun-
set Empire Park and Recre-
ation District is one of the
earliest of its kind in the
state of Oregon.
During the past fi ve
decades, the district has
evolved signifi cantly from
its original purpose of pro-
viding a public pool to offer-
ing an expanding suite of
services and programs for
the community.
The accomplishments of
the district — and the peo-
ple who made them possi-
ble — will be celebrated this
weekend during a commu-
nitywide event featuring a
variety of activities.
“We feel like this is a
really awesome milestone
for our district,” Executive
Director Skyler Archibald
To kick off the day,
attendees can participate in
the district’s second annual
Family Triathlon starting at
9 a.m., although preregis-
tration is required by Friday,
June 21. At 11:30, the dis-
trict will host the birthday
celebration and a free barbe-
cue. During lunch, staff will
recognize a number of peo-
ple, including past directors
and board members, whose
leadership was integral to
the district’s establishment
and sustainability.
Families can then choose
to attend a free Zumba class
at noon, go to open swim at
the pool from 1 to 3 p.m.,
and participate in a scaven-
ger hunt across the district’s
facilities. Ice cream will be
served in the pool lobby
around 3. Also during the
day, the district’s facilities
will be open and free for use.
Archibald said they are
looking forward to com-
munity members coming
out and being recognized
for their part in supporting
the district, but also touring
“around to see what the dis-
trict is able to provide that
maybe they didn’t realize.”
The SEPRD Legacy
Starting in 1965, a group
of community members
began devoting efforts to
build a community pool
and gathering funds from
the PTA, baked food sales,
and private donors. When
it became clear more fund-
ing was needed, the commu-
nity decided to form a spe-
cial district.
The vote took place in the
fall of 1968, and the district’s
formation was approved by
a slim margin, Archibald.
The measure, however, set
the permanent tax to fund
the district at $0.92 per
$1,000 assessed property
value, which has “allowed
us to be stable through that
50 years,” he added.
City-owned parks and
often have to vie for fund-
ing with other departments
and important services and
can be a low priority com-
pared to public utilities,
emergency services, and law
enforcement. The Sunset
Empire Park and Recreation
District has been fortunate
not to be in a similar situa-
tion, Archibald said. Rather,
having a consistent funding
source has enabled the dis-
trict to be forward-thinking
in terms of serving the com-
munity and eying progress.
“As the community has
grown and property values
have increased, we’ve been
able to do more and more,”
Archibald said.
The district was offi cially
formed Feb. 14, 1969, and
the boundaries were similar
to what they are today. They
mimic the Seaside School
District’s, excluding the
incorporated cities of Gear-
hart and Cannon beach.
The following few years
were spent securing other
levies to build the pool, hir-
ing an architectural fi rm, and
selecting the existing site
near Broadway Park after
public hearings and discus-
sions with the City of Sea-
side and school district. On
Sept. 28, 1977, Sunset Pool
opened to the public.
Other momentous occa-
sions in the district’s history
include taking over manage-
ment of the Bob Chisholm
Community Center for the
city and having access to
more program space; estab-
lishing the Seaside Youth
Center; and opening Broad-
way Field in 2011.
“Our staff is just really
grateful to continue to leg-
acy that we have and to
honor our community by
providing the programs that
we do,” Archibald said.
A vision for the future
Looking forward, the dis-
trict plans to update its stra-
tegic plan when incoming
board members Lindsey
Morrison and John Chap-
man join in July. They will
serve alongside current
board members Veronica
Russell, Jeremy Mills, and
Michael Hinton. Together,
they will determine what the
board’s new priorities will
be for the next several years.
The previous board and
district staff agreed they need
to add more indoor recreation
space. If they can accomplish
that in the next few years,
Archibald believes that will
be another seminal moment
in the district’s history.
“The district is underserv-
ing our population because
we don’t have enough indoor
space to meet the needs of
our community to give them
healthy and safe places to
play and to move and to be
active year-round,” he said.
“I’m not sure how we’ll do
it, but I know it will still be
a priority.”
For more information
about the district’s 50th
Birthday Celebration activ-
ities and itinerary, call 503-
738-3311 or visit sunsetem-
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