Canby Swim Center Ramps Up Hiring for New Pool Staff

With most city offices and programs reopening for in-person service next month, the Canby Swim Center faces one challenge unlike many of its sister services: Personnel.

While the Canby Public Library, City Hall and most other offices were able to maintain staffing levels during the coronavirus pandemic by transitioning to remote service, the Swim Center’s crews were decimated during the extended closure — going from a staff of 25 a year ago to only seven — with two more leaving soon to pursue other opportunities.

“It’s all hands on deck, and we’re doing what we can when we can,” said Nathan Templeman, the Swim Center’s facility operator. “In the meantime, we are actively recruiting a full-time coordinator, part-time head guard and gobs of instructors and lifeguards.”

Those interested in taking part in an upcoming lifeguard class must be at least 15 years old and able to swim continuously for 300 yards, tread water for two minutes using legs only, and complete the “brick test” (swim 20 meters, retrieve a 10-pound brick from 7 feet of water, return to the surface, and swim on their back for 20 meters back to the edge of the pool).

For more information or to apply, visit the city’s website or contact head lifeguard Casey O’Brien at

In other aquatic news, classes are resuming at the Canby Swim Center starting on April 5, with a new water exercise group led Lyallyn Temple from 9 to 10 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The center will be able to accommodate more than the usual six slots for this class, but participants will be unable to use the locker-rooms or showers before or after their session.

Registration will be offered via the same system as other swim spots: first come, first served; call the pool at 503-266-2761 after 7 a.m. on Wednesday to reserve for the upcoming week.

Tuesdays and Thursdays will remain open to reservation-only lap swimming, which the Canby Swim Center has been offering for months.

“Thank you for your patience as we wade through the current restrictions,” Templeman said in an email to Swim Center patrons this week. “We regret that we are unable to reach all segments of our community as well as we would like, but I hope that we earn points for opening before our neighboring facilities despite a skeleton crew.”

Also on April 5, the final lap time of the day will run 1:50 to 2:30 p.m. to accommodate the triumphant return of the Canby High School swim team.

Templeman said Swim Center officials hope the new exercise class will be a service to the community while also freeing up time elsewhere in the day for more lap swims.

“Each day, we field inquiries about lessons, free swims and weekend hours, and honestly, we don’t have a timeline,” Templeman explained. “All we can promise is that we are working hard to prepare for when we can offer these activities in a safe manner.”

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