Some minor change orders were approved Monday night for the construction of Newport’s new Aquatic Center. The city council approved the changes allowing the construction of the new facility to keep moving along. City officials say the new pool is still on schedule to be a great big Christmas gift to the citizens of Newport who voted for it’s construction. The ribbon cutting is anticipated to be December 24th – Christmas Eve. If the date holds, it’ll be “Swimmin’ with Santa” Christmas Day in Newport.
Many hope that the new center will be yet another draw for visitors to Newport in that swimming leagues and teams from around Oregon will have a new state of the art competition swim facility that they’ll all want to try out…and then spend some time at the beach and at Newport’s Bayfront.
The city council also took another bold step to ensure Newport remains an attractive and economically diverse community by building on those elements over the next 20 years. That effort was given a big boost by the council hiring HDR to lead the city in a six month quest to agree on a vision of what Newport should look and feel like in 2040 or 2050. HDR consulting of Bend, OR will bring together every facet of the community and ask citizens, business owners, HMSC, CCCC, the School District, fishing industry leaders, local, state and federal government officials, the arts community, medical and mental health experts, forestry officials, civic organizations and many, many others, what their vision is for Newport – what they love about Newport, what they’d like to see less of, and how to make that happen.
HDR has a world-wide reputation for extracting key information from communities around the world to help them become what they say they want to become. Once the interviews, surveys, one-on-one conversations with community leaders and town hall meetings with citizens are over, HDR will draw up a comprehensive report on what ideas and strategies should be followed to most closely mirror what the community, as a whole, truly desires – and provide a doable plan to get there.
The final vision report should be in the hands of the city council by the end of December.