Splashdown: community pool opens

POULSBO — After a long wait, North Kitsap residents can plunge in to the North Kitsap Community Pool again.

Several finishing touches still need to be applied but the pool, which has been undergoing a summer-long renovation funded by a 2001 capital facilities bond, is ready to receive swimmers.

Despite the chain-link fences still flanking the entrance and the low whine of construction equipment, Monday was a busy day for the pool. As toddlers taking swimming lessons were walked to the entrance by their parents, members of the North Kitsap High School swimming and diving team walked out, done with their first practice in their new home.

“How’s the pool?” someone asked one of the swimmers.

“Nice,” the swimmer said.

The parent asked, “Really? Can you breathe?”

The parent, who was referring to the overheated, muggy air caused by a failed heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system, would have been pleased by the structure’s interior. The air inside is still warm, but much improved, thanks to a new HVAC that was installed along with the rest of the renovations.

Robin Shoemaker, the North Kitsap School District’s director of capital facilities, said the HVAC system is a definite improvement.

“There’s good air flow through there,” Shoemaker said.

The new system, she said, is still being adjusted in order to find the perfect settings. It’s not the only improvement that still needs to be finished. The exterior of the building is still being worked on, especially the elevator/stair tower and storage area in the front of the building, which are both expected to continue until mid-October.

Inside, some of the locker rooms still do not have all their lockers — which are enroute — and the reception area still needs windows.

But inside, swimmers will find a pool that’s brighter, with a new surface and more breathable air.

In addition, the locker rooms have been improved, the outside walls have been given a new surface, and the aquatics classroom has been renovated.

“I think folks will be pleased with what they see,” Shoemaker said.

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