Steve Burke, executive director of William Shore Memorial Pool in Port Angeles, tells those who attended Wednesday’s Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon of the planned expansion for the pool. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Steve Burke, executive director of William Shore Memorial Pool in Port Angeles, tells those who attended Wednesday’s Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon of the planned expansion for the pool. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Port Angeles public pool expected to expand using levy increase

PORT ANGELES — The William Shore Memorial Pool expansion, which is hoped to begin in fall 2018, would be funded with about a $6.3 million bond, likely paid over the next 20 to 30 years.

Steve Burke, executive director of the pool, told those at the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday the bond would be paid for by increasing the district’s levy by about $18 per $200,000 home.

The 55-year-old aquatic center at 225 E. Fifth St. in Port Angeles is planned to undergo a $10 million expansion after a record-breaking year in 2016, which saw more than 100,000 visits. An average of 274 visits per day were recorded in 2016.

The William Shore Memorial Pool District — which shares a boundary with the Port Angeles School District — would increase property taxes from the current 18 cents per $1,000 of assessed value up to about 28 cents per $1,000 of assessed value in the coming years, with the first hike coming in 2018, Burke said in a follow-up interview.

Details aren’t hammered out yet, but he said the first increase could be about 5 cents, followed by another 5-cent increase possibly the next year.

The pool district’s board would need to approve the levy in November for the increase to take place Jan. 1, 2018, Burke said.

The district has the legal authority to issue bonds up to about $8 million and can levy up to 75 cents per $1,000 of valuation without a vote, he said.

“The maximum that it would be [in the coming years] is a 10-cent increase,” he said.

The proposed expansion is projected to cost roughly $10 million, Burke said. The board hopes to fund about $3.5 million of the project with state grants.

One of the grants would require the project to use cross-laminated timber, a technology Burke said officials are trying to encourage in the area.

Every year since the pool district was formed in 2009, it has levied less than it legally could have, he said.

“We’ve been saving our levy capacity,” he said.

The expansion is planned to be in two phases, the first of which is expected to begin in the fall of next year.

To make room for the westward expansion, Peninsula Behavioral Health (PBH), plans to move its Horizon Center from the shadows of the pool, though an exact location isn’t yet known, said Wendy Sisk, PBH CEO.

She said there are two options being considered now and that moving to the main campus would not be fiscally viable.

The Horizon Center at 205 E. Fifth St. is a day-use gathering place for PBH clients. Clallam County and the pool district have a memorandum of understanding regarding how the Horizon Center could be transferred.

The first phase would add new locker rooms and a new entrance on the west side of the building, starting in fall 2018. The pool would remain open during this construction, Burke said.

The locker rooms would have more privacy than the current ones and contain family changing areas.

The next phase, beginning in February 2019, would be everything else.

Plans call for adding a children’s splash and play area, a warm water exercise and therapy pool, a hot tub, dry and steam saunas, and a multipurpose room for after-school programs and birthday parties.

“We don’t have a great area for kids to play,” Burke said. “It’s almost too deep for little kids and it’s too shallow to do much else.”

The goal, he said, is to have a more family-friendly area.

He said the expanded pool still will have the diving board, climbing wall and rope swing, but there won’t be a slide.

Instead of a slide, the plan is to put in a lazy river, which he said would be used by more people than a slide.

The pool likely would be closed from February 2019 through the start of that summer. If construction goes as planned, it shouldn’t affect the boys’ or girls’ swim seasons, Burke said.

He said he hopes the district will put the project out to bid by spring of next year.

________

Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.

A rendering of the William Shore Memorial Pool expansion.

A rendering of the William Shore Memorial Pool expansion.

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