A couple of construction setbacks has the Enumclaw pool opening a couple of months later than expected.
The local aquatic center closed last spring due to COVID-19, but even when King County moved into Phase 2 of reopening, the pool remained closed due for what was supposed to be six weeks of repairs and upgrades starting in August.
The major improvements swimmers will notice when they are able to return include a resurfaced pool deck, new plaster lining the pool, additional in-pool lighting, a new diving board, a climbing wall, as well as improvements to the pool lifts and the spectator area.
The pool deck and the new plaster that gave workers a bit more trouble than expected.
“In the pool, when they were removing the old plaster, they found a second layer of plaster that they had to remove,” said Michelle Larson, Enumclaw’s parks and recreations director. “Then when they were preparing the existing concrete deck for the new deck, there was a lot of damage to the concrete… that’s added quite a bit of time to the schedule as well.”
Currently, the pool is looking at a Nov. 1 or 2 opening date.
“We can open at a reduced capacity,” Larson continued. “It would be minimal programming — probably lap swim, water walking, maybe some small group swim lessons… and maybe some water aerobics, but we won’t be having, obviously, any of our big, special events, probably until Phase 4.”
Due to the increased workload, the project cost has increased from about $635,000 to around $675,000, and Larson noted that the overall cost is likely to land around $700,000.
Luckily for the city, about $400,000 of that is covered by grants, leaving less than half of the bill to be picked up by Enumclaw.
POOL RATE INCREASES
To increase pool revenue, the Enumclaw City Council enacted a plan to hike pool use fees by 28 percent over three years, starting in 2019.
That year saw a 14 percent increase in pool fees, which applied to everything from the hourly fee for adult water exercise classes to pool rental rates.
January 2020 saw a further 7 percent increase, so if the pool opens this year, you can expect the following prices:
– The “public swim/lap swim/water walking” rate for adults is $6.25. The hourly rate for youth, seniors, the disabled and those in the military is now $5.
– The hourly fee for adult water exercise classes is currently $7.50.
– For a group of 25 or fewer wanting to rent the pool, the fee is now $105; for a large group, from 120 to 150 people, the rate climbs to $225.
– Swim lessons for toddlers and their parents are now $62.50, and preschool and youth classes are now $81.25. Both classes include 10 lessons.
Those who don’t live in Enumclaw will discover their fees are slightly higher than local residents.
The city of Enumclaw has a conceptual plan for how to proceed with additional repairs and improvements, though nothing is set in stone.
The plan includes a little bit of remodeling and additions, but “obviously we don’t have funding for that right now,” Larson said. “I think our next step is to seek grant funding.
“We’re not positive what the next phase will be,” she continued. “We want to redo the entry and the lobby area and the locker rooms and the family restrooms, things like that… with the possible addition of a party room.”
Enumclaw also wants to add a small therapy pool or zero-depth entry pool, though that addition is planned for the “distant future.”