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New Witter pool dedicated dry

Broken pipe delays opening; city hoping to be ready June 14

The opening of the new Witter Aquatics Center, at Mission Park in northeast Spokane, will be delayed several weeks because of a broken pipe in the larger of the two pools at the center.

“The best-case scenario is four weeks,” said Carl Strong, aquatics supervisor for Spokane Parks and Recreation.

Despite the broken pipe and empty pool, the dedication ceremony went as scheduled Wednesday morning. No mention was made of the broken pipe.

About 50 people gathered for the dedication, including members of the Stanley G. Witter family. The pool is named for the former parks director, instrumental in the building of the original, Olympic-size pool in 1960.

The smaller pool at the aquatics center, with its bright red slide, was filled with water. One woman attending the dedication, dressed in casual clothes, tried out the slide twice.

The dedication wasn’t postponed because “everyone was geared up, and we had water in the little pool,” said Nancy Goodspeed, parks spokeswoman.

The pool is under warranty. The aquatic center’s general contractor, Graham Construction & Management Inc., will be responsible for fixing it, Goodspeed said.

“Our hope is to open by June 14 for the regular season,” Strong said, although it’s unknown whether the fix will be completed in time.

The Witter Aquatics Center was scheduled to open Monday for “limited use.” Strong said he is rescheduling all preseason programs, including lap swimming, lifeguard training and outdoor recreation courses, such as kayaking classes. Most of the programs will be transferred to the new pool at Comstock Park, which opened last summer.

The parks department is getting in touch with people who signed up for the preseason programs.

Strong said people can call (509) 363-5415 for more information or e-mail