PORT TOWNSEND — If you’re longing to swim, it’s almost time to suit up.
That’s the message from the city of Port Townsend as the Mountain View Pool, closed to the public for a year, reopens March 22.
The pool, at 1919 Blaine St., will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday to swimmers who make advance reservations at cityofPT.us/pool. Those without internet access can phone 360-385-POOL (7665).
The city web page enables lap-swim and general swim appointments of 45 minutes each, along with providing the required liability release forms. A maximum of four people, all with appointments, can use the pool at one time.
No aquatic fitness classes nor swim lessons will be offered.
The locker rooms will remain closed, so swimmers should arrive 15 minutes before their time slots, wearing face masks and their swimsuits. Social distancing of at least 6 feet is also required, so pool users are urged to wait in their cars or just outside the front doors until they see the previous patrons leave.
“Come ready to roll,” City Manager John Mauro said.
Swimmers must keep their face masks on at all times except when in the water, and, “if you can’t wear a mask, you cannot enter the facility,” the city’s pool webpage notes. “This is part of the opening permit from the Jefferson County Health Department; no exceptions.”
As swimmers check in at the front table, they will have their temperatures taken and answer health-screening questions. Then they will be assigned a pool location where they can leave their belongings: towels, a plastic bag for the face mask, kick boards and goggles.
Fifteen minutes before the end of each time slot, the lifeguard will blow a whistle as a heads-up. The whistle will sound again at the end of the time slot, giving swimmers 60 seconds to exit the water.
The city website’s pool page lists fees for lap swimming at $4 for youth ages 17 and younger, while adults 18 and older, including seniors, pay $6. For “fitness swim” sessions — independent deep-water aerobics — the fee is $10 per session.
Talk of the 120,000-gallon pool’s opening has gone on for months, but “we didn’t want to commit until we could perform,” city Public Works Director Steve King said.
It’s happenstance, Mauro added, that Mountain View Pool’s reopening date coincides with the state’s move into Phase 3 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Roadmap to Recovery plan.
In February, the city pool was made available for Port Townsend High School swim team practice. But to let the public into the water, the city needed more lifeguards and planning time.
The City Council authorized a contract of up to $35,000 with the Olympic Peninsula YMCA, which operates the pool at its Sequim branch. King then worked with Y pool managers to organize a safe restart at Mountain View.
Port Townsend has used only a portion of that contract so far, Mauro said.
The YMCA was brought in because the city lacks the staff previously assigned to running the pool: parks and recreation director Alex Wisniewski departed for a job in Kitsap County in January.
Since then, Mauro added, the hiring focus has been on finding a new police chief. Thomas Olson, deputy chief of the University of Washington Police Department, has been selected and will take over for interim chief Troy Surber by May 3.
At the pool, King also worked with Cat Sonandre and Jon Plueard, full-time lifeguards who dipped a bit more than their toes into the management realm.
Both “really showed their stripes,” taking on leadership roles in scheduling and planning, King said.
“They just really jumped in.”
Jefferson County senior reporter Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3509 or [email protected]