By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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McDonald was hired in April 2011 as just the third director in the history of the 25-year-old swimming and workout facility at 610 N. Fifth Ave.
Her resignation is effective March 29.
McDonald cited personal issues as the reason for quitting, saying she is moving back to her native Virginia.
“I love this job. It's the business of fun, and I have definitely had a lot of that,” McDonald said.
McDonald replaced Sue Jacobs, who had been the SARC director since 1992. Jacobs had been a SARC employee since the facility opened in 1988.
“It's amazing that a public facility like this can operate without a steady stream of public funding,” McDonald said.
In 2002, after two attempts to pass a maintenance-and-operations levy failed, SARC commissioners moved to relying on fees from users for funding.
McDonald helped spearhead a recurring-payment program that provides SARC members discounted memberships that are automatically deducted from their bank accounts monthly.
“We're very sad to see her go,” SARC board Chair Susan Sorensen said. “She's done a wonderful job.”
Changes to facility
McDonald, a graduate of East Carolina University, implemented several changes to SARC during her reign.
SARC opened a new Kids Zone, expanded its swim program to year-round and formed a master-level swim team that travels for competition.
SARC has a full-size Olympic pool with a dry and steam sauna, hydrotherapy pool, water slide, workout equipment, gymnasium and racquetball courts.
For now, the facility, which employs 53, will operate under interim Director Tracy Stoppani.
Sorensen said the board will be accepting applications for a full-time director and likely will hire McDonald's replacement toward the end of April.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.