June 28, 2007 in Voices

Council makes splashy decision

By The Spokesman-Review
 

The City Council has granted its formal approval for more lounging, sliding and splashing in the city’s pools next summer.

After the swimming season ends this fall, plans call for crews to install a lazy river at Terrace View Pool, a water slide at Park Road Pool and a beach-like zero-depth pool at Valley Mission.

“What a great addition to our city,” said Councilman Bill Gothmann.

His colleagues at the dais agreed, and they voted unanimously to approve designs for the upgrades at their meeting Tuesday.

“I like all the things you’re adding,” Mayor Diana Wilhite told Parks Director Mike Jackson after a presentation on the pools.

Councilman Rich Munson pointed jokingly out that his wife told him he couldn’t come home after the meeting if he didn’t vote for the improvements.

The projects will be funded with $1.6 million originally set aside by the county to replace Valley Mission pool. Subsequent studies, though, showed the pool was structurally sound and the council voted last year to spend the money on the upgrades at all three pools instead.

Architects from ORB of Renton were hired to design the new water features. They also laid out plans for more shade and deck space so the maximum number of people allowed inside can increase at pools where swimmers are sometimes turned away on busy days.

At public meetings earlier, some voiced concerns about noise at Terrace View, the upgrades’ impact on swimming lessons and other issues.

“The existing pool shells will remain in place,” Jackson said, and swimming lessons won’t change.

The lazy river was chosen for Terrace View because it would be less noisy than the other options, he said.

The owners of Splash Down Waterpark in Valley Mission Park also were concerned that upgrades to the pool there would draw customers away from their business.

Jackson said the zero-depth pool was chosen for that site because it would be less likely to compete with the slides.

The project also includes remodeling the interior of the bath houses to conform with the Americans with Disabilities Act.


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