According to a news release, driven by strong interest from Si View Parks District constituents and greater Snoqualmie Valley community members, Si View Metro Parks is exploring options for developing a new aquatics facility in the community.
Si View said the community’s need for an aquatics facility has been identified repeatedly in its needs assessment surveys and in the 2017 Comprehensive Plan Update.
Per the news release, “Given the resources required for developing and operating an aquatics facility, the District is conducting a detailed aquatics feasibility study specific to our community by a team of highly qualified professionals with expertise in aquatics facilities, market analysis, business planning and public outreach.”
At the June 5th commission meeting, the Si View Board of Commissioners reached a major milestone, unanimously selecting a preferred option from alternatives developed by the consulting team: a 46,000 square foot aquatics facility with recreational and competitive pool features. This was the mid-sized facility of the three options examined and comes with an estimated price tag of $35-$37 million.
The option includes lap lanes for fitness and play features for all ages in a warmer rec pool, as well as a separate 6-8 lane competitive pool with deep water diving area and spectator seating. The proposed model also includes options for a splash pad area, and classroom spaces.
Si View said the consulting team will now move to the final reporting stages of the study that will include a business plan, site analysis, traffic study, conceptual drawings and preliminary cost estimate for the selected option. Final feasibility report is expected this summer.
During the feasibility study process, the community was active in public engagement meetings and surveys. The first public meeting in January with 150 attendees was a workshop format with two goals: to confirm community support for a new Aquatic Center and to hear community opinions about the future location and amenities that they want for the new facility.
An online survey followed in March, asking the community about their willingness to support the ideas that came out of the first workshop, and got 940 individual responses. The final public meeting in late April asked participants to weigh in on three facility alternatives driven by public input received.
An aquatics facility that meets the needs of today’s community and accommodates future growth is one of the top three priorities identified in Si View Parks District’s 2017 Comprehensive Plan Update.
According to Si View, “This first deliberate step towards developing a new state-of-the-art aquatics facility to last for decades ensures that the end result provides the best possible outcome for the whole community. Upon completion of the study, Board of Commissioners will consider financing options that include collaborative partnerships, grant opportunities and a capital bond proposal.”
Si View’s current pool – a small, former King County Parks pool built in 1938 – is an aging facility, with decades of serving the community. The district said it is no longer adequately sized for today’s community.
There are partnership hopes for the potential facility – including the City of Snoqualmie and the Snoqualmie Valley School District. The City of Snoqualmie is currently pursuing an expansion and pool addition to the YMCA/Community Center that is estimated to cost $12.5 million.
Si View Parks Recreation Manager Minna Rudd said if Snoqualmie chooses to build its own aquatic component, Si View would potentially phase its project. She added, “The commission will be weighing in financing options once the final feasibility study report is available and that will certainly welcome partnerships.”