District residents have consistently voiced a need for a new aquatic center. The existing Si View Pool was built 84 years ago for a community of 600 residents, clearly not representative of today's needs. With just 2,500 sf of wet space, the pool is undersized for the community with extensive waitlists for most programs. Currently less than 50% of students looking for swim lessons can be served, due to lack of space.
Following an extensive feasibility study in 2019, Si View proposed a capital bond measure to design and construct a new community aquatic center in November 2020 and again in August 2022. While the measures narrowly missed the required 60% super majority, almost 58% of the community is in support of funding the project, making it a high priority for future investment to better serve identified community needs.
As we consider options, pursue updated cost estimates and collect community input, it is all with a goal of developing a new proposal to present to District residents in November 2023, providing our community an option for a new aquatic center in North Bend. We invite you to participate in this process, stay informed and share information with your neighbors. Contact us with questions about this project at (425) 831-1900 or email .
The proposed plan includes two phases, first the warm water recreation pool that can accommodate a range of programs for all ages and abilities, and a later phase with a separate cold water competition pool. All included features are based on the feasibility study recommendations which utilized community input, market research, and projections of demographics and community needs for the next 20+ years.
Phase I includes a new 26,800 square foot facility for year-round recreation with features for all ages, abilities and interests with a warm water recreation pool.
With the bather load increasing from 60 to 260 and the wet spaces designed to operate independently of each other, the options expand dramatically. This will also allow introduction of new programs based on community priorities in a cost effective way utilizing these flexible spaces.
This flexibility is a key difference to the current Si View Pool, where for example, learn to swim programs have majority of the pool hours and less than 25% of operating hours are dedicated for drop-in programs (such as lap swim) and rentals. In a larger setting with multi-use spaces everyone has better access, including school programs.
The recreation pool will be built first as that supports the widest range of users from family play to swim lessons to therapy programs and aquatic fitness. As such the recreation pool can be sustainably operated as a standalone facility, whereas the competitive pool cannot, due to more limited use. The competition pool requires additional funding and a regional partner. The recreation pool will be designed in a way that can accommodate a future addition. The chosen site next to Si View Park accommodates a full buildout, including the competition pool.
The preferred project concept plan calls for a phase II cold water competition lap pool that can accommodate many more aquatic activities including competitions, diving, water polo, and water safety trainings. This phase would also add more locker rooms, classrooms and flexible program space for community use.
Splash pads are community playgrounds that provide a safe and welcoming setting for aquatic play. Especially for visitors who don't know how to swim, these amenities provide introductory and accessible aquatic play. With creative designs including shade areas and comfortable seating, amenities attract visitors of all ages and abilities promoting family play. Much like playgrounds, splash pads can enhance quality of life for residents and build healthier communities.
Local residents have voiced a splash pad as a desired park amenity both in the aquatic center feasibility study as well as the 2022 City of North Bend Parks Survey. The preferred concept plan includes an outdoor splash pad with a variety of water and spray features with age-appropriate zones.
When a splash pad is installed, the design uses a plumbing system that uses little water as it recirculates the water from an onsite storage tank with a filtering and sanitizing process that keeps the water clean, and a comfortable temperature for water play.
Family changing rooms are standard at most newer facilities. Changing rooms are private, with the dressing area, toilet, sink and shower all in an enclosed space. Providing private changing rooms ensures everyone has access to the facility and it speeds up the process of getting in and out for family groups minimizing crowding and wait times, and in many cases splitting families up for the different gender changing rooms.
Designing a facility close to the community center allows for efficiencies in operations, creates overall better experience for park visitors, and provides opportunity for a site design that complements the existing neighborhood.
The final design and construction timeline is approximately two years from the point when full project funding is secured.
The aquatic center will be designed as a park space to complement the existing neighborhood. As with all District development projects, preservation of open space, retaining significant trees, and use of landscaping to enhance park user experience, will be used to achieve the desired outcome. The center will be accessed from Cedar Falls Way and Orchard Drive but not from SE 5th Street. The current dead-end at SE 5th and Orchard will be enhanced with landscaping and a pathway.
A traffic analysis was completed in 2021 confirms that the site is compatible for the proposed uses, including a full buildout of both phases. Link to the study. The location near Si View Community Center ensures programming and events can be scheduled in a way that avoids overcrowding either site.
Why temporary? Given the aging infrastructure, some parts are simply not manufactured anymore and require finding work-arounds to keep systems operational. One example of a temporary repair is the cracking the pool. In 2015 rebar staples were drilled and epoxied along the larger cracks to slow them down. But these are temporary repairs, not a permanent solution. Similarly, the HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems are very old. A system failure would necessitate immediate action and while there is nothing that can't be replaced, a point will be reached that requires a lengthy shutdown and a great deal of added expense.
After over 80 years in service, and due to its aging systems and the footprint of the facility, the current pool is not a viable candidate for renovation to the extent needed to serve today's community. While it has been loved and well cared for, the mechanical systems are nearing the end of their useful lifespan. From plumbing to pumps, filters, heaters, and chemical treatment systems, the existing parts require custom care and have limited options for repairs due to their age. Major maintenance and upgrades are needed to continue to operate the pool in the coming years requiring significant investment as well as extended facility closures. A system failure could cause a catastrophically expensive emergency repair that results in lengthy facility closure.
The market analysis completed as part of the feasibility study confirms that there are no comprehensive, public, indoor aquatic/recreation facilities in the service area, and that the demographic make-up of the service area can support a large aquatic center that serves a variety of aquatics needs from learn to swim programs and recreational swimming to competitive swimming.
The estimated cost including design and construction cost for the Phase I Si View Aquatic Center with a recreation pool will be updated in Spring of 2023. For reference, the August 2022 proposal of $30,341,732 was based on the current schematic Phase I design with construction starting in 2024. A new timeline will impact the overall cost.
Secured funding sources include $4 million King County Parks Levy Grant Award (availability confirmed through 2023), and $1.8 million from Si View Capital Improvement Projects Fund. The balance would be funded with proceeds from a capital bond measure.
Capital measures collect a fixed overall total amount. Individual taxpayer cost is based on the assessed home value. As the overall valuation of the District grows with more homes and more businesses, there is a larger base to spread out the cost. This is when individual homeowner's share of a fixed cost goes down.
When the District determines to propose a capital measure to District voters, estimated monthly cost will be published. However, residents can access a tax transparency tool anytime for a detailed breakdown of their individual property taxes, including any proposals on upcoming ballot measures. This tool is available here
The District is committed to be as efficient as possible with Snoqualmie Valley resources by aligning project goals to coincide with any additional regional funding opportunities.
The capital cost estimate for phase I development of the warm water recreation pool was originally prepared by Cumming as part of the feasibility study. This estimate was last updated in December 2021 to reflect construction cost escalation to 2024. In Spring 2023, the cost estimate will be updated again to ensure the latest information is used. The cost estimate is based on the proposed schematic design without any alterations. It includes Washington State Sales Tax.
The cost to expand the current Si View Pool would be comparable to building a new center, given the aging infrastructure that would require rebuilding all mechanical systems. Another constraint is the facility site, which is not large enough to expand programming space to the level that is needed to serve the community's needs into the future without removing some of the existing Si View Park features.
Future of the current Si View Pool space is open. While the community cannot sustainably support two aquatic centers, the current Si View Pool can be repurposed for another community use. A public planning process will be followed to determine the best use of the space. Given the landmark status of Si View Community Center and Pool, there are some restrictions that may affect renovation plans.
The District has had discussions with both City of Snoqualmie and Snoqualmie Valley School District for potential partnering options to deliver a regional aquatics center that serves the entire Snoqualmie Valley's needs. However, to-date, these discussions have not resulted in partnership agreements. City of Snoqualmie prefers any future aquatic facility development to be located on Snoqualmie Ridge, outside Si View boundaries. The School District's interests are for a competition pool to support student athletes, which could be achieved in a future phase.
According to the market analysis completed as part of the feasibility study, Snoqualmie Valley can support one large aquatic center with components included in the proposal. If another pool is built in the service area, which includes Snoqualmie, the plan would need to be modified to ensure sustainability. YMCA pools are private, where priority registration is given to facility members resulting in limiting public access.
Si View Commission will consider placing a capital bond measure in the November 2023 election based on community input received. The next steps in this process include:
Si View has proposed a capital bond measure to construct a new community aquatic center in November 2020 and again in August 2022. While the measures narrowly missed the required 60% super majority, almost 58% of the community is in support of funding the project, making it a high priority for future investment to better serve identified community needs.
As a public agency, when a proposal is presented to voters, the District can only provide factual proposal information on certain schedules per campaign laws. Any campaigning efforts would need to be coordinated by community volunteers who wish to advocate for the proposal, and not utilize District resources.
If you are a District resident, and a registered voter in Washington State, you will receive a ballot in mid-October. The primary election is a mail-in election, completed ballots must be returned by November 7th. In North Bend, there is a drop-off box at the library. Deadlines for new voter registration and voter updates are available online. In-person registration/updates can be made up until election day.
In 2019, the District completed a comprehensive aquatic center feasibility study that demonstrates a Snoqualmie Valley wide need for a new public aquatic center with programming options for all ages and abilities. The recommendations from this study have guided all our planning steps to-date.
In 2020, after surveying District residents for the level of support for funding aquatic center development and operations, two proposals were put forward in the November 2020 elections. The operations levy for future center operations passed, but the capital bond proposal for construction of phase I narrowly missed the required 60% super majority.
In 2021, a centrally located project site was acquired with funding from the 2018 Connect and Protect bond. The District worked with the community and collected input to determine what was missed in the prior year proposal and to reset a path forward. A traffic analysis for the newly acquired site was also completed.
In 2022, an updated cost estimate was completed, along with updates to concept plan on the new site. With grant funding secured, and a Spring resident survey supportive of a capital measure, Proposition 1 was place on the August ballot. While 57.8% of District voters were in support of funding the design and construction of a community aquatic center, the measure did not meet the required 60% super majority.
Going in to 2023, the District is considering alternates, pursuing cost estimates and collecting community input, with a goal of developing a new proposal to present in November 2023, providing our community an option for a new aquatic center in North Bend.