Photo by Sverre Bakke
This lot next to Church Avenue in White Salmon has been identified as a potential site for a new city swimming pool. However, a study of the site cannot take place without the blessing of the White Salmon Valley School District. That could come on Nov. 19, after the School Board hears a study update from city representatives.
As of Wednesday, November 11, 2015
The feasibility study for a new White Salmon swimming pool has taken a turn in a different direction concerning location.
Last week the City Council approved a contract amendment with consulting engineer Mike Wellman that adds the study of White Salmon Valley School District property between Main and Church avenues as another potential building site. The property is currently graveled and used as a carpark by Whitson Elementary School. The site also contains a building in the northeast corner that the district uses for storage.
The contract amendment with Wellman Associates calls for additional professional services in the amount of $26,270, for a total re-vised contract of $48,665. The pool study is being paid for by a grant the city received from the Mary Hoyt Stevenson Foundation.
According to Mayor David Poucher, the granters approved the additional expenditures, and both they and the City Pool Committee recommended approval “in order to continue the process of studying the best course for municipal pool improvements.”
However, the shift in focus from the existing pool site near Whitson Elementary and the Park Center grounds to other School District-owned property still requires the approval of the School District’s board of directors.
Supt. Jerry Lewis told The Enter-prise by e-mail on Tuesday the Pool Committee has been invited to the Nov. 19 School Board meeting to present an update on the results of the community survey and meetings, and discuss a possible feasibility study of “the old bus barn” site.
Poucher indicated by e-mail Monday that he isn’t sure the School Board “is on board with that alternative,” and that “an up-or-down vote” could be taken at the Nov. 19 meeting. Poucher added that Pool Committee chair Karen Skiles would be attending the meeting to answer any questions about the new scope of work.
The contract amendment sets a completion date for the new study of 120 days after city authorization to begin work.
Wellman wrote in an Oct. 29 amendment proposal to City Administrator Pat Munyan Jr., “As you know, our original work was limited by city and donor request to only include the existing site and the Rhinegarten Park Center location. We do, however, see the potential benefits of looking at other sites.”
The original study looked at five options for pool improvements at the two aforementioned locations. As a result of public discussions and surveys about that study, the Pool Committee, with input from citizens and other interested parties, identified a few more potential locations, including the lot across from Whitson and properties near Henkle Middle School and Skyline Hospital.
It its Oct. 27 recommendation to the City Council requesting further engineering evaluation, the Pool Committee noted, “All of the above locations were presented to the public at the public workshop of Sept. 15, 2015, and the location across from Whitson received high support, whereas the current location received little support, and the park received the most opposition.”