Because the Enumclaw pool was already going to be closed in August, the city has decided to stay closed through July as well. Image courtesy the city of Enumclaw

Because the Enumclaw pool was already going to be closed in August, the city has decided to stay closed through July as well. Image courtesy the city of Enumclaw

Enumclaw pool to remain closed until September

The decision came down to cost, as the pool was already scheduled to be closed in August.

Recreation rules have been relaxed in King County, but that doesn’t mean the Enumclaw Aquatic Center will soon open for business.

Largely due to a summertime improvement project – a planned effort already intended to keep the facility closed for an extended period – a decision was made to keep the city-owned pool shuttered until September.

Michelle Larson, who heads Enumclaw’s Parks and Recreation Department, initially believed King County would have to enter Phase 3 of the COVID-19 reopening plan before the pool doors could open. But Phase 1.5 was launched earlier this month, allowing the pool to open with limitations.

“This excited us,” Larson wrote in a message posted to the city website. “We immediately thought of swim teams, lap swim, water exercise and private swim lessons.”

Options were pondered, she said, as staff looked at the feasibility of getting pool operations up and running. But, in the end, the decision was made to keep things closed through the summer season.

Larson explained that the pool already had a renovation project scheduled to begin next month.

“After careful consideration of the requirements for opening, we felt that it would be difficult to do so, to just turn around and have to close again in July,” Larson posted.

To open for just a short time, she said, her department would have to hire staff and see that lifeguard training was up-to-date. Aside from that, there are costs associated with getting the pool heated. Then, prior to the beginning of the July work, the pool would need to be drained.

The good news, Larson reported, is pool users will see some “major improvements” when September rolls around. Plans call for resurfacing the entire pool deck, plastering the pool liner and adding in-pool lighting, a new diving board and a climbing wall. Also, there will be improvements that will make pool lifts compliant with Americans With Disabilities Act regulations. Adjacent to the pool, repairs will be made to the spectator area.

All pool improvements were joined together so they could be handled by a single general contractor. Bids have been opened and a contract was awarded during the June 22 meeting of the Enumclaw City Council. Larson said the low bid came in at $634,874 for the interior upgrades. Much of the cost is being paid by outside sources: the state has contributed $252,840 and King County has put up $125,000. The remainder is included in the city budget, specifically coming from the Real Estate Excise Tax fund.

The ongoing closure has impacted thousands of pool customers. Larson ran a report for July and August of last year, which showed 2,200 entries by 296 individual users. That was on top of nearly 600 who took swim lessons; also, there were pool guests who showed up for special events, turned out for Rainier Foothills Swim Team or dropped in for open, public swim.

Another group that could be impacted are Enumclaw High School’s fall sports programs that call the pool home. Both the boys’ water polo team and girls’ swim team practice at the Enumclaw pool and host their home meets there. Their turnouts are slated to begin Aug. 24 but there’s a possibility they will be pushed back to early September.

Either way, it’s likely the pool will not be ready when Hornet athletes are allowed to turn out. Larson said the contract with the general contractor calls for pool improvements to be finished by Sept. 18.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Buckleyite finishes filming first movie on the Plateau

Ralph Smith’s movie, “Runaway”, is about a teenager who finds a mentor in a homeless veteran after she decides to take off on her own.

New CARES Act funds to be given directly to local businesses

If you have 60 or less employees and operate out of Enumclaw, then you’re eligible for up to $7,000.

Enumclaw food bank numbers dropping, despite pandemic

Food donations have increased, but clients just aren’t showing up.

In-paper debate, week 2: Leg. District 31 candidate rebuttals

This is part two of a debate between incumbent Drew Stokesbary and challenger Katie Young.

Enumclaw sees smattering of new COVID cases

Nearly two coronavirus-free weeks ended on Aug. 23.

Police chase ends with arrest of Tacoma man

Walter Dyches has a lengthy criminal history.

Enumclaw fire under control

The Fish Fire is 100 percent lined, 30 percent contained, and is even shrinking.

Seven decades later, the search for two missing Navy pilots continues

The pilots are thought to have disappeared near Black Lake, northeast of North Bend.

Most Read