Opinion

A regional aquatics facility sounds great

Swimming is a critical life skill. The one small pool in our Valley amounts to an apology to the needs of our children. Each summer our youth go to the rivers and lakes to cool off, sometimes with horrific consequences.

The Snoqualmie City Council doesn't care. Rather than working with their neighbors in the Valley, they want to ask Snoqualmie residents to build another inadequate, small, motel-sized pool on the Ridge.

As a former aquatics director and Valley resident for the last four years, I was thrilled to learn there is a possible solution to this problem: a regional aquatics facility built in our Valley.

Our little community pool is currently unable to serve the huge number of swim lesson applicants and we have no competitive youth swim teams.

In the wake of the recent drownings in the Valley, it would make sense to expand these programs, but there is not enough space at our current pool to do this.

In a presentation to the council by Si View Metropolitan Parks District (MPD) Director Jessi Richardson, both the financial feasibility and forward thinking of a regional pool were clearly outlined.

For the same price, Snoqualmie residents could choose to have a small motel-like pool on the Ridge, or they could choose to be a part of a larger regional facility with a large competition pool and a spray/splash pool for the kids that could even include a waterslide.

This proposed facility would serve the needs of the entire Valley for many years to come - not just our friends on the Ridge.

In moving forward with the Ridge's planned community center, options could include a spray park/wading pool for the kids and then combine with the MPD to build the regional pool that could open in just a few years. By joining the MPD, Snoqualmie residents would enjoy a larger pool with cheaper operating costs and join the larger Valley community.

As a teacher, former swim instructor and mother of three small children, it seems obvious to me that a larger regional facility that would serve the needs of all the Valley residents for years to come is a much better investment in the future and safety of our community, as well as being a lasting legacy for our children.

Residents of Snoqualmie who would like a modern aquatics facility that could be as good a facility or better than the new pool in Renton should contact their City Council and make sure their voices are heard.

Kalli Willson

North Bend

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