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Kirkland looks for new pool site

  • Written by Briana Gerdeman

With Kirkland’s Juanita Aquatic Center possibly closing in 2017, the city is studying several sites for a replacement pool.

The pool, which is at Juanita High School, is used by the Woodinville High School, Bothell High School, Inglemoor High School and Lake Washington High School swim and dive teams.

Several other groups also use the pool: WAVE Aquatics swim team and swim lessons, Lake Washington Masters Swimming, the Seattle Synchronized Swim Team and the public.

The Lake Washington School District decided last year that the pool was nearing the end of its useful life, and this year, chose not to put funding for a new pool on the February special election ballot as part of a bond to modernize Juanita High School.

“You can keep a car that has 200,000 miles on it and continue to pour money into fixing everything that breaks. But you can’t rely on that vehicle to perform reliably and safely,” reads LWSD’s website. “While we may be able to eke a few more miles out of the Juanita pool, we are reaching the point where we can’t expect it to perform reliably and safely.”

The Kirkland City Council felt it was unacceptable to not have a public pool, said Jennifer Schroder, Kirkland’s parks director.

Now, Kirkland is considering five possible sites for a replacement pool: Juanita Beach Park, the North Kirkland Community Center, South Norway Hill Park, a parcel in Totem Lake that might include the mall and Saint Edward State Park in Kenmore.

In the meantime, the city will consider enclosing Peter Kirk Pool with an inflatable cover as a temporary measure to allow for year-round use if the Juanita Aquatic Center closes before the new pool is built.

The city will also study whether the sites would be suitable for aquatic (lap and leisure pools) only, or a full community recreation center with gyms and classrooms.

The Kirkland Council has also expressed interest in partnering with neighboring cities — Redmond, Bothell, Woodinville or Kenmore — or other entities like the Lake Washington School District, community colleges or EvergreenHealth.

The Park Board will continue studying the pool replacement on March 19 and the Council will study it again on April 1, Schroder said.

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