- Mount Si wrestlers reload with some deep mat experience
- Federal Way man sentenced for hate-crime beating of Sikh cab driver
- State receives another Kent applicant for marijuana production plant
- Severe Weather Shelter to stay open Tonight, Tuesday, as well
- County Council adopts regulations for marijuana operations in unincorporated Ki...
- About Us
Connect with Us
Kirkland to partner with LWSD to explore options to replace Juanita High School pool
The Kirkland City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday to partner with the Lake Washington School District to explore options for replacing the Juanita Aquatic Center at Juanita High School by 2017.
The Council amended the 2013-14 work program with the passing of Resolution R-5003 about a week after the Lake Washington School District board solidified their commitment toward a pool partnership.
On Sept. 9, the school board unanimously passed a resolution (Resolution No. 2166) that will allocate funds from a 2008 capital bond measure to go toward a new swimming pool if the current bond measure passes in February 2014.
The current district bond measure includes $755 million in funding for the modernization of Juanita High School and many other schools, but excludes funding for replacement of the high school’s pool– the Juanita Aquatic Center.
However, school board members agreed to redirect unspent phase-two modernization dollars “to fund a portion of pool projects, which will enable use by high school swim and dive teams for practice and competition,” Resolution No. 2166 states.
District spokeswoman Kathryn Reith said the remaining funds from the 2008 bond measure for phase-two modernization could be between $10-$12 million, adding not all of the funds would go toward a potential pool partnership.
If the February bond does not pass, leftover phase-two modernization funds would go toward additional portables and other temporary student housing within s chools instead.
The issue was brought to the Council’s attention after several concerned citizens testified in favor of a pool partnership.
Throughout the summer, thousands of passionate students, swimmers and families rallied against the district’s proposed bond via their community Facebook page “Save Juanita Pool.” Many were concerned that if the pool wasn’t included in the upcoming bond, they would permanently lose their chance at a year-round public pool in Kirkland, which is what the Juanita Aquatic Center provides.
Because the bond does not include pool replacement, the district has indicated Juanita High School could lose their pool as early as 2017 when construction is likely to begin on expanding Juanita High School.
At a school board meeting on Aug. 5, about 50 student swimmers and family members wearing orange filled the board room to attempt to persuade board members to rethink the proposed bond measure.
Nearly all five school board members were saddened by the loss of the pool but cited lack of funds as a driving force behind their unanimous vote.
But board members told the crowd to go home and wash their orange shirts that evening because they would need them again the next night during a Kirkland City Council meeting.
According to city documents, citizen testimony asked the city to consider participating in building a new aquatic center because the current pool is the only public year-round aquatic facility in Kirkland.
Residents and youth currently use the pool for swim lessons, fitness, recreation among the 300 student swimmers and divers within the Lake Washington School District.
City staff estimated the initial project budget would range between $125,000 and $200,000 for securing a project management contract, a design consultant, and analysis of potential sites, among other expenses.