Mayor’s Message: Pool and Recreation Center update

Mayor’s Message for the December 2018 Town Topics newsletter

When I last wrote about the pool and recreation center in the March edition, we had just hired ARC Architects and we were in the process of appointing a steering committee of Fircrest residents who volunteered to help guide the project. They’ve been very productive, and I want to share this update with you.

The City Council received valuable input from the steering committee and the architects and made some decisions in November:

  • We unanimously agreed to put a combined pool and recreation center replacement project on the ballot in April 2019. Voters will make the final decision.
  • We considered two design options for the pool, and while both versions included a “kiddie pool” we chose the design that separates it from the main pool.
  • If approved by voters, the project would be built in two phases. The pool construction would start as soon as the summer 2019 season ends, with the goal of opening the new pool in time for the 2020 season. Construction of the new recreation center would start a couple of years later.

With those decisions made, we were working at the time of this writing (in mid-November) to finalize the design and complete the cost estimates.

We are working hard to seek outside sources of funding to alleviate the burden on taxpayers. To date, we have secured a generous $1 million grant from the Edwards Family Foundation, $750,000 from the Washington Legislature for the pool replacement, and $750,000 in City of Fircrest reserves. We are working on plans to request several million dollars from other philanthropic foundations, and we plan to ask for another grant from the Legislature for the community center portion of the project.

The pool and recreation center have been the centerpiece of our community since 1962. Public surveys conducted in 2017 and 2018 both showed very strong support for taking the steps necessary to ensure we have quality facilities for community use for years to come.

The city will continue to post updated information here in the “Up-To-Date Information” area of the website.

I want to close by thanking everyone who served on the project steering committee, and everyone who took the time to take the surveys that influenced the design. This is not a City Council project. It’s a city project.

I hope all of you have an enjoyable and fulfilling holiday season.

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