The completed feasibility study for a long-anticipated pool at Martin Luther King Jr. Park is on the Yakima City Council’s agenda for Tuesday.
The city closed Miller Pool in 2005 and Washington Pool in 2006, both of which were on the city’s east side, due to vandalism and cost constraints. Yakima city leadership started conversations about reestablishing an east side pool in 2017, when an ad hoc committee of council members, community members and Parks and Rec commissioners gathered to consider options.
The City Council chose Martin Luther King Jr. Park — next to Washington Middle School — in 2018 and allocated money for a feasibility study during the 2019 budget process. The city contracted with Counsilman-Hunsaker, a consulting firm that specializes in aquatics, in January. A series of public feedback sessions and community surveys followed.
Consultant Miklos Valdez said community feedback showed that residents wanted varied recreational features, ADA accessibility, lap lanes, some teen features and a sprayground for younger children. They also wanted diverse recreational programming offered at the pool, including swimming lessons, water fitness, lifeguard certification options and recreational swim times.
The finished 72-page feasibility study includes general information about aquatics center trends and construction considerations, key take-aways from community sessions about the desired MLK pool design, and specific expenses and anticipated revenues for three possible pool options.
All three plans include a lobby, restrooms, locker rooms, a concessions area, lap lanes, a swimming pool and a 1,235-square-foot sprayground. Features that differ across the designs include the size and types of pools and slides available.
- Option 1 includes a recreational pool with four lap lanes and a water slide, a tot pool with tot slide, and the sprayground. Expected cost is $7.4 million.
- Option 2 includes a pool with four lap lanes, several water slides, a bowl slide, and a vortex; a tot pool with a family slide; and the sprayground. Expected cost is $10.4 million.
- Option 3 includes a pool with three lap lanes, a vortex, water slides and a lounge area; a teen pool with a bowl slide and rope swing, a tot pool with a family slide, and the sprayground. Expected cost is $11.3 million.
The consultants suggested that the pool would operate only during the summer months. For costs, they recommended a daily admission pass for $5, a water fitness class cost of $6, and an eight-lesson pass for around $40. Pool rentals would cost around $200 for a two-hour party rental or about $270 for a one-hour full-pool rental.
Ken Wilkinson, manager of the Yakima Parks and Recreation Department, said the feasibility is a starting point — that nothing, including the costs for admission, is set in stone.
Wilkinson said the Yakima City Council will have final say on the fees for the pool, as well as how Parks and Rec will proceed with the project.
“It feels good to have the study done, but it’s just a starting point,” he said. “It’s for the council to decide how we move forward, and we are eager for that guidance. We’re ready to move forward as directed.”
The feasibility study is on the council agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 129 N. Second St.
Editorial Note: This article has been updated to reflect that the operating season for the pool will be the summer months only. The error was contained in the feasibility study itself.