Submitted by Friends of Lopez Island Pool
The Friends of Lopez Island Pool is thrilled to announce that the state supplemental capital budget that passed on March 8, includes $500,000 for a community swim center on Lopez Island. This could not have happened without support from Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas, and House Reps. Kristine Lytton and Jeff Morris. Locally, many calls were made and letters were written by our partner organizations and FLIP advisory members. The final budget passed unanimously in the Senate passed the House 96-2 and awaits Gov. Jay Inslee’s signature.
San Juan County is one of two counties in Washington state without a public pool. Although the swim center project was originally conceived by and for Lopez residents, it has become apparent that all county residents suffer from the lack of year-round access to a community pool. The swim center will be a state-of-the-art indoor facility with two pools; one super-heated for aqua therapy and learn-to-swim lessons and the other a 75-foot recreational pool for lap swimming, water aerobics and family swim. County residents of all ages and abilities will benefit from year-round programming designed to bring them greater health, water safety and connection to their community.
The tate award brings the amount raised for construction to $1.85 million – which is 50 percent of the estimated amount needed for the first phase of construction. Another $1.85 million must still be raised in order to begin construction in September. FLIP continues to pursue grants and lead donations. Closer to home, council members Jamie Stephens, Rick Hughes and Bill Watson are actively pursuing ideas for county investment in the swim center. While the council has already shown its support for the pool project, an investment by the county would pave the way for more funding from the state level.
Our growing list of partnership organizations includes the family resource center, school district, Lopez Island Academy, fire and EMS, Lopez Island Physical Therapy, prevention coalition and community trails network. These organizations see the benefits of a community swim center aligning with their values and goals and have come forward to state their support for the project.
FLIP is grateful for the support and enthusiasm received from the community. Whether you have written a letter, voiced your support, donated money to the project or simply said you want to swim, you have made an impact. Today, we celebrate this wonderful news with you because together, we are making sure that the San Juan Islands will swim!
For more information, or to make a donation, visit www.lopezislandpool.org.