Washington Pool Construction

Pictured is the Washington city pool, under construction, Thursday, Jan. 7. The Washington Parks and Recreation Department announced that the pool will open May 29. 

Construction of New City Pool

Ahead of Schedule

 

Washington residents hoping to dive into the waters of the new Agnes Nolting Aquatic Complex can circle May 29, 2021, as the day when the pool will open. 

The date of the pool’s opening was announced Wednesday evening during the Washington Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. It was originally set to open in late June or early July. 

A celebration is planned commemorating the opening, which coincidentally falls on the 182nd anniversary of the founding date of Washington. The city was founded May 29, 1839, by Lucinda Owens.  

Construction of the $4 million pool complex, which is being financed by revenues from the city’s half-cent capital improvement sales tax, is approximately one month ahead of schedule, according to Parks Director Wayne Dunker. Voters approved the sales tax in 2018. 

“It may not look like there is much activity from the outside this week, but they are inside (the pool house) painting and doing drywall work. They are also supposed to be putting tile around the edge of the pool,” said Dunker, who reported that the pace of construction has benefited from good weather and until recently had been largely unaffected by COVID-19.

“COVID threw a wrench in there really quick. ... This fall, COVID really took a toll out there on the construction workers,” Dunker said. 

The aquatic complex includes a splash pad, a rock climbing wall, water slide, leisure pool and other features.

Planning for the new pool began in 2018 when the parks department sought community feedback on what residents wanted in a new pool facility. 

In other business, the park commission heard a report about increasing fees for certain parks and recreation programs and facility rentals. 

“We do want to get to that too, especially for baseball,” Dunker said. “We want to get that done before these baseball tournaments that are planning to play in St. Louis County get kicked out and then come here, where they would pay pennies on the dollar compared to what they normally would pay (to organize their tournament and rent fields).” 

Dunker also informed the commission that three possible parking lot expansions for Lakeview Park have been identified. 

“All three would add quite a few spots — more than I originally thought was possible,” Dunker said. 

The topic of expanding parking options at the soccer fields in Lakeview Park near Lions Lake was broached at the commission meeting in October. This came after commission members fielded complaints that drivers had parked on the park’s grass, causing damage to the park’s grounds.

The parking lot closest to the field has an estimated 140 parking spaces, with nine located along the driveway off of South Lake Shore Drive.