A large leak in Blue Mountain Community College’s swimming pool may force the college to permanently close the pool a year early.

The college considered closing the ailing pool in the spring 2016, but after gathering public input and working with local swim teams agreed to keep it open through 2018. But Casey White-Zollman, vice president of communications, said a “significant leak” has been discovered that could be too costly to repair.

The college drains the pool for maintenance each summer after local high schools and the Pendleton Swim Association finish their season. This year’s closure is set for June 2. White-Zollman said at that point a contractor will be able to fully assess the leak and give the college an estimate on repairs.

The agreement between BMCC, Hermiston High School, Pendleton High School and Pendleton Swim Association included $25,000 from the college and $25,000 split between the other swim teams for maintenance over the two extra years of operation. But White-Zollman said a clause in the agreement would allow the college to close the pool early if needed repairs exceed that amount.

She said BMCC has kept all three swim teams apprised of the latest development and they will know more after the pool is drained June 2. The college is not currently scheduling swim classes for the fall.

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