Erickson Park top option for Bubble building, committee to tell city

PORT ANGELES — Only one of the 60 people at a meeting this week was ready to burst the bubble of the Friends of the Fieldhouse, which favors placing a huge inflatable sports shelter at Erickson Park.

Members of the committee presented assessments of four possible locations for the Bubble building — a 296-foot-long, 118-foot-wide, 40-foot-high structure kept upright by air pressure — at the Tuesday meeting at Port Angeles City Hall.

The four options — which the city of Port Angeles demanded the committee provide — were Volunteer Park, Jessie Webster Park, Shane Park and Erickson Park.

At Erickson Park, the committee’s clear choice, the Bubble would be placed on a parking lot at Third and Francis streets, with part of it covering an adjacent grassy field between the parking lot and the skateboard park on Race Street.

The Bubble was awarded to the Clallam County Family YMCA by the U.S. Tennis Association in New Jersey for free, so long as $17,500 in shipping costs were paid.

Uses for the Bubble, which can seat 240 spectators, include soccer, lacrosse, T-ball, tennis, volleyball, basketball and others sports, the committee said.

The committee favors the Erickson Park location because there, the Bubble would have a manager.

Steve Charno, YMCA board president, said that if the city determined that the bubble should go at Erickson Park the organization, which is at Third and Francis streets, would operate it.

“We will, on behalf of the city, own and operate it as a multi-use facility, without seeking or accepting a subsidy from the city,” Charno said.

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