Voters to decided on new community pool in North Bend

The Snoqualmie Valley could finally see a replacement for its 84-year-old community swimming pool in Si View Park — if voters approve a recently announced ballot measure.

Just a day removed from receiving a $4 million grant from the King County Parks Department on May 3, the Board of Commissioners for the Si View Metropolitan Parks District approved a resolution that will place a capital bond proposal on the Aug. 2 election ballot.

If approved, the bond would look to amass $24.7 million in property taxes at a rate of $1.62 per $100,000 of property value, per month. Those funds would be used alongside the $4 million grant and $1.7 million from Si View’s capital fund to build the $30 million aquatic center.

When finished, the center would be a 26,800-square-foot facility featuring both a lap and competitive swimming pool, play areas, a multi-purpose room, space for classrooms and pool access for those in wheelchairs. It is projected to meet the community’s needs for the next 50 years.

“Although it comes with a really big price tag, a new pool that meets the needs of our greater community is the fiscally responsible thing to do rather than keep putting money toward the existing aging pool,” said Katie Klahn, President of the Si View Parks Board of Commissioners.

The existing Si View pool was built over 80 years ago. At only 2,500 square feet, the pool is undersized for the community it serves. The park district serves the City of North Bend as well as unincorporated areas stretching all the way from Eastern North Bend toward Fall City.

When the pool was built, just 650 people were living in North Bend. Today, the pool’s size prevents Si View from expanding any of its programs, many of which have long waitlists.

The second problem is the aging pool has deteriorating infrastructure, which continues to require maintenance alongside rising annual costs. Much of the pool’s plumbing is the original pipes, and Klahn said an overhaul would be expensive.

The board is hopeful that the new space will remove those waitlists and allow residents to access the pool during popular times of the day, when it has typically been overcrowded.

“[The pool is] not going to last forever and it’s going to need more repairs as it gets older,” Klahn said. “The question is do we want to be putting our money into something that doesn’t meet the needs of our population or would we rather put our money toward a facility that is not only going to meet the community’s needs now, but well into the future.”

Klahn said she is excited about the accessibility component of the new project and being able to provide open-swim hours for children every day instead of once a week.

The new facility would be built in two phases, with the second phase adding the competitive pool and a multi-purpose room. If approved by voters, it would be a few years before construction wraps up.

The facility would be just outside Si View Park, adjacent to the current facility, on land purchased by Si View in 2021.

This is the second time in two years that Si View has put a proposal on the ballot to fund a new pool. In 2020, a similar bond proposal received just over 56% of the vote, falling a little under 4% below the needed 60% threshold.

Klahn said the most recent effort for the pool is a community-driven project that follows a “statistically valid survey” in 2017 that showed aquatics as a high priority for residents. She pointed to the importance of making sure children in the Valley, surrounded by rivers, are good swimmers.

“I value public safety and I’d like to envision our future kids being comfortable and confident in the water,” she said.

For more information on the proposal, go to: