In 1965, the only bodies of water designated for swimming in Seaside were private pools, motel pools, and the ocean. An initiative was launched to build a community pool with funds coming from the PTA, proceeds from baked food sales and private donors. Although a great deal of support for the pool was gained, the fundraising failed to generate the money needed to build a pool. As a result, in the fall of 1968, voters approved the formation of the Sunset Empire Park & Recreation District (SEPRD) and authorized the District to levy taxes for the purpose of building the first public pool in the city. SEPRD was officially formed on February 14, 1969.
The boundaries of the District at the time are much the same as today and followed those of the Seaside School District #10, excluding the incorporated cities of Cannon Beach and Gearhart. In 1971 a levy passed to provide $60,000 annually for a period of five years to build pool. The levy went through several voting sessions before it was finally passed by the voters.
In March 1972, a resolution was passed to hire the architectural firm of Hewlett, Jamison, and Atkinson. A fully enclosed pool was designed and site selection soon followed. The cost at that time was approximately $240,000.
In June 1973, the SEPRD board selected a site in Broadway Park, which was approved after public hearings and discussion with the Seaside School District and the City of Seaside. This request was approved, but the property was not conveyed to the District until July 1976. The City was not assured until then that the pool would actually be built.
A Serial levy of $85,000 was put on the ballot in May of 1976 to cover costs due to inflation over and above the original estimate of the project. With a modification of the plans, the adjusted cost of the facility was $394, 500. Bids were called for and opened on July 20, 1976. All of the original proposals were rejected as they exceeded the District’s budget, with the lowest coming in at $482,000.
Not wanting to make any further major modifications to the plans, as the remaining changes could cause serious functional problems with the final product, and facing the improbability of accessing a Federal loan or other funding, an agreement was reached with the C & M Company of Seaside to construct the facility at a final cost of $410,081.
On September 28, 1977, Sunset Pool opened to the public.
Since then, the district has continued to grow, adding a variety of programming aimed at improving our community's health through physical activity and developing exceptional youth through our many preschool, summer camp, and after school programs.