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Swimmers rally to save Titlow Pool

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on Aug. 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm with 2 Comments »
August 31, 2011 4:36 pm

A coalition of local swim teams will hold an organizing meeting Thursday to help save Titlow Pool, which Metro Parks plans to close permanently after this summer.

The park district is shuttering the aging West End pool and replacing it starting next spring with a new wave pool under construction at Kandle Park in the Westgate area, funded by the district’s 2005 $84 million bond measure. But local swim teams don’t see the recreation pool as any substitute for the 50-meter, Olympic-sized competitive Titlow facility and want to press the park district to keep it open.

The Titlow Alliance Group will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. at Titlow Pool to discuss the issue. For more information, see the group’s web site.

Below is a press release from the group.

Titlow Alliance Group (TAG) to hold public meeting on how Titlow Pool can continue to operate under the management of Metro Parks and avoid permanent closure.

Titlow Pool will be permanently closed on August 28th , 2011 and all operations will be shifted to Kandle Park once it opens Summer of 2012. This will end access to the south sounds only outdoor 50 meter competition pool and concludes a long history of producing competitive athletes as well as joyful summer memories for generations to come.

Location of Meeting – Titlow Pool
Address – 8355 6th Ave, Tacoma, WA
Date – September 1, 2011
Time – 7PM

Titlow Pool is scheduled to be permanently closed after this season. The Titlow Alliance Group (TAG) is a collection of local swim teams with a vested interest in keeping one of the two outdoor 50 meter competition pools in Western Washington from closing (the other is Coleman Pool in Seattle).

Metro Parks Tacoma (MPT) got the voters to pass an $84.3 million dollar parks improvement bond with the intent of “replacing” Titlow Pool and building a two pool aquatic complex including a 50 meter training pool (Resolution No. R93-07). That plan started to unravel in February of 2008 (MPT Memorandum dated 2-1-08) when MPT stated funding was not being available and then truly fell apart in October of 2008 (MPT Memorandum dated 10-27-08) when MPT announced that Kandle Park (an advanced model of Stewart Heights) would include an aquatics facility but not a two pool design and Titlow would be further developed with out a pool. Legal? Yes. Ethical? Probably not. The devil lies in the details on this issue. MPT said they were going to “replace” Titlow pool but the voters should have asked for a definition of replace at the time. Its replacement is Kandle Spray Park.

MPT plans on removing Titlow pool but has no funding to do so. So why leave it empty when it could continue to serve the community? To further cloud the issue, MPT plans on on building a $1.5 million dollar spray park on Titlow’s property to the north of the pool. The jobs is rebidding in September due to lack of interest. They only received two bids on the initial go round. Why do we need another spray park when there are two in the immediate vicinity (3.8 mile radius) of Titlow (Jefferson Park and Kandle) and three (Wright Park) within 5.9 miles.

TAG will also discuss how the public can contribute by using social media to contact the members of the MPT Parks Board as well as the members of the Tacoma City Council and the Mayor of Tacoma.

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. Frankly123 says:

    Ha! I was at a Parks Board meeting just a couple years ago where they said they were “committed to keeping Titlow open until they could replace it with another 50 meter pool”. Shame on them for not keeping their word. I would like to see Titlow transfer to someone willing to keep it open.

  2. To make matters worse, Metro Parks Tacoma (MPT) states they have talked with Bethel School District (BSD) about creating a partnership that would design and build a 50 meter pool complex. BSD states that they have asked MPT to team up with them on the pool but MPT has not committed. BSD further states that they have not started the design, there is no funding, and the project is “several years out at this time.”

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