A foundation crew works at the site of the Shore Aquatic Center in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

A foundation crew works at the site of the Shore Aquatic Center in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Director: Work coming along swimmingly on Port Angeles pool

PORT ANGELES — Shore Aquatic Center is expected to begin to take shape next month.

The Port Angeles facility formerly known as William Shore Memorial Pool has been gutted for a $20 million renovation and 10,000-square foot expansion.

The pool, which closed to the public in May, is scheduled to reopen with new amenities in June.

“We’re going to see a lot of progress within this next month,” Executive Director Steve Burke said during a Friday tour of the construction site.

Crews work on foundations for the new Shore Aquatic Center in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Crews work on foundations for the new Shore Aquatic Center in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

“We’re getting there. We’re on time and on schedule.”

Crews last week completed underground utility work for the new aquatic center.

Next week, Neeley Construction will begin to raise steel for the metal roof and walls of the exposed south side of the building at 225 E. Fifth St.

“That will look dramatic,” Burke said.

“It’s starting to look like we have a plan. When you’re doing the demo, it sometimes doesn’t look that way.”

Plans for the new aquatic center include a warm-water wellness pool for therapy classes and a children’s pool with a beach entry. The kids’ pool will have swirling splash features like a “lazy river” and “vortex ring.”

“We’ll do swim lessons in there,” Burke said.

William Shore Memorial Pool District executive director Steve Burke explains how stormwater at the site of the Shore Aquatic Center will be collected as he conducts a tour of the site in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

William Shore Memorial Pool District executive director Steve Burke explains how stormwater at the site of the Shore Aquatic Center will be collected as he conducts a tour of the site in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

”Parents will play with their kids in there. The lazy river is part of that.”

The main pool, children’s pool and warm-water therapy pool will be coated with plaster. Deeper handrails and steps will be installed to make it easier to climb out of the pool.

The aquatic center will have a portable lift for disabled users.

Larger locker rooms and offices will be built on the west side of the pool near the glassed main entrance.

After school programs will be housed in a dedicated space on the east side of the building.

Much of the south side of the structure will be covered in glass, providing unobstructed views to Klahhane Ridge.

Crews have installed a self-contained stormwater filtration system in the back parking lot east of the building.

Lakeside Industries of Port Angeles is scheduled to pave the main parking lot before the paving season ends Nov. 12.

Unlike the old pool that opened in 1961, the new aquatic center will be fully insulated.

The original swimming pool awaits eventual renovation as work continues to expand and improve the former William Shore Memorial Pool, now renamed the Shore Aquatic Center. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

The original swimming pool awaits eventual renovation as work continues to expand and improve the former William Shore Memorial Pool, now renamed the Shore Aquatic Center. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

“I learned to swim at the old pool, so this is exciting,” said Cherie Kidd, former mayor, Port Angeles City Council member and Shore Memorial Pool board member.

In 2009, the William Shore Memorial Pool District took ownership of the pool from the city after voters approved a new junior taxing district to run the pool, which city officials were considering closing because of its age.

Burke said the pool was renamed Shore Aquatic Center “to make it shorter.”

William “Bill” Shore was a long-time Port Angeles educator and coach who taught thousands of local children how to swim.

“We were trying to come up with a name that honored him, but also kind of just made sense as a name,” Burke said.

“And so with our being on the water, the shore and all that, it kind of satisfied both requirements.”

The new facility will have a display honoring Bill Shore.

A construction crew works on a section of the existing pool building at the future Shore Aquatic Center in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

A construction crew works on a section of the existing pool building at the future Shore Aquatic Center in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

“We worked with the Shore family,” Burke said.

“What we didn’t want to do is feel like we were trying to forget the past and not honor him as a legacy.”

Staffers who worked at the pool when it was opened in 1961 will be invited to the re-opening, Burke said.

“We’re all pushing for June,” Kidd said.

“I’m getting a new bathing suit just for the occasion.”

________

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

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