its January 21 meeting, the Kirkland City Council gave consideration to five proposed sites within Kirkland for a potential future aquatics center to replace the Juanita Aquatic Center which may close as early as 2017.At
discussions during its study session, the council unanimously adopted a
resolution that allows the City to further study Juanita Beach Park
(north side), North Kirkland Community Center, South Norway Hill
Park, a parcel in Totem Lake, including possibly the Mall area, and
Saint Edward State Park.
The City Council amended the
resolution to allow additional sites to be included for review if
Preliminary site analysis was conducted by the City’s Parks and
Community Services Department and The Sports Management Group on five
parcels located within Kirkland city limits: Juanita Beach Park, NKCC,
Mark Twain Park, Snyder’s Corner Park, and the private property located
at 9826 NE 132nd Street (former Albertson’s grocery store).
The Study was launched in September 2013 following
the announcement by Lake Washington School District (LWSD) that it
would be closing its pool at Juanita High School. City Council members
recognized that finding a site would help bring in other public and
private partners, reached consensus that the facility should provide
aquatic and recreation programs, and directed staff to look at
potentially phasing the construction.
Council members also agreed to
study the feasibility of encasing the Peter Kirk Pool with an inflatable
cover as a temporary measure to allow for year round use should
additional time needed to complete a new aquatics center.
Preliminary analysis of the sites within Kirkland included the size
and configuration of the parcel, centrality within the community,
parking, and access for vehicles, public transportation, pedestrians and
bicyclists. Also included the evaluation was visibility of the site,
neighborhood impacts, zoning, surrounding land uses, availability of
utilities, site appearance, and if the property was owned by the City of
The City Council directed staff to conduct a robust public
“The City of Kirkland will involve the public in helping to select a
site for a facility that can best meet the public’s need for
competition, recreation and wellness,” says Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen.
Last year, the Juanita Aquatic Center (Juanita High School Pool) was
deemed by LWSD to be nearing the end of its useful life and would
require an estimated $15 million to replace.
Although the LWSD Board of
Directors approved placing a school bond measure on the February 2014
election ballot which, if approved, would modernize Juanita High School,
the ballot will not propose funding to replace the pool. If the
February 2014 ballot measure passes, the District anticipates closing
the Juanita pool as early as 2017.
Mayor Amy Walen proposed that the city contact the State Department
of Parks to explore the possibility of the aquatics center being located
at Saint Edward State Park. City Council Member Dave Asher suggested
that a site in the Totem Lake neighborhood, and possibly in the Mall, be
City staff will be contacting Kenmore city officials and the Totem Lake Mall owners.
For information on the Aquatic Center Study and to receive email updates, go to www.kirklandwa.gov and search “Aquatic Center.