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Renovated Tukwila Pool set to open in February

A worker fixes a hole along the Tukwila Pool wall near the slide. The pool is expected to reopen Feb. 19 after a $1.66 million renovation  project. - STEVE HUNTER, Tukwila Reporter
A worker fixes a hole along the Tukwila Pool wall near the slide. The pool is expected to reopen Feb. 19 after a $1.66 million renovation project.
— image credit: STEVE HUNTER, Tukwila Reporter

Swimmers will soon be able to see and feel the many changes at the renovated Tukwila Pool.

The pool is expected to reopen Feb. 19, said Robert Eaton, city parks and recreation project coordinator. Metropolitan Park District officials closed the pool Nov. 5 for a $1.66 million renovation project.

"We're updating a 39-year-old facility to keep it functional for the next 20-plus years," Eaton said during a recent tour of the pool, 4414 S. 144th St.

Crews continue to work on a long list of repairs, including a new pool liner and tile as well as new deck flooring around the pool. The flooring will go over the concrete surface that has served as the deck area. New fluorescent lighting has been installed above the pool.

New fans, motors, dampers and controls will great improve the air handling systems and the humidity.

"To control the air system will be the biggest factor in our energy savings," Eaton said. "We can control it now and before we couldn't because the return air dampers were stuck."

The motor and pump replacements and boiler upgrades will help the heating and cooling systems run more efficiently.

"We're going to save $30,000 a year on utilities, mostly on gas and electric and a little on water and sewer," Eaton said.

Officials had to delay the opening by two weeks when workers discovered the heat exchanger used to heat pool water needed a new burner and valves.

Crews renovated the pool filter tank so that park district employees will be able to maintain the filter tank with a pulley rather than contracting out the work each year.

"That will save us a couple of thousand dollars," Eaton said.

Just about everything will be new in the locker rooms, except for a couple of urinals that were saved. A volunteer group already painted the walls. New floor tile, lockers, toilets, sinks and showers are all part of the renovation.

"There will be push button sinks that helps keep the water from running so long," Eaton said.

Swimmers are expected to have plenty of hot water when they shower, which wasn't the case before. New hot water tanks will resolve that problem.

"We had complaints from the public that the shower temperature would fluctuate," Eaton said. "Now whether one or 12 people are in the showers it can support the demand. That's one thing the public will be excited for is warm showers."

The men's and women's locker rooms also will feature three private dressing rooms, a request from swimmers. Family changing rooms also will be available near the pool lobby.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) required pool officials to upgrade the facilities for the disabled. A new ADA chairlift will allow a disabled person to get into the pool on their own. Locker rooms also will meet ADA standards.

Workers have finished a new entryway into the pool facility.

Once crews are done with pool repairs and water is added, it will take 14 days to chemically balance the water before the pool will open.

While the pool is expected to open Feb. 19, a Grand Re-Opening Celebration is tentatively scheduled for April Pool’s Day, Saturday, April 20.

Voters in 2011 approved the formation of a metropolitan park district to fund the pool and the capital improvements through a property tax levy of 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation or about $36 per year for the owner of a $240,000 home. The levy will keep the pool operating for the next 20 years.

Tukwila took over ownership of the pool in 2003 from King County after county officials decided to get out of the pool business. The pool opened in 1973 funded by the 1968 Forward Thrust bond issue to expand county parks and recreation.

For more information about the pool project, go to www.tukwilapool.org/projectupdates.html.

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