Redmond area voters have some big decisions to make in November.
The Redmond Area Park & Recreation District is seeking voter approval on a $49 million bond measure to build a new recreation center. The park district also needs a local option levy to operate the new recreation center.
Supporters say those two measures combined would cost the average Redmond homeowner about $15 a month.
The average morning aquatic exercise class in the Cascade Swim Center’s existing facility holds 40 people. As soon as the fitness class finishes, lifeguards place lane markers for lap swimming.
It goes like that all day long.
“The facility is at capacity. Even with 10 lap swimmers, the pool is full,” said Katie Hammer, executive director of the Redmond Area Parks and Recreation District. “In summer during rec swim, our capacity is 150. We regularly turn people away.”
The existing pool is at program capacity. There’s no room to add any more programs.
“We can only offer recreation swim for families at 8 o’clock at night. That’s a challenge for our community. For a parent, it’s difficult to bring your kids to recreation swim from 8 to 9 then go to bed on a school night,” Hammer said.
“We have a facility built in 1979 when Redmond’s population was 6,500. The district now has 50,000 people and we are swimming out of the same facility,” said Matthew Gilman, chair of the Redmond Area Parks and Recreation District board of directors.
The proposed community recreation center at the intersection of SW 35th Street and SW Lava Avenue will have two aquatic facilities.
- One recreational pool for fitness, lessons, a lazy river, play area, and a water slide all with warm water for people to enjoy.
- A second eight-lane, 25-meter competition pool will be dedicated to advanced swimmers and race swim teams.
“It’s going to have a fitness center. Weight rooms. A giant gym with two full-size basketball courts in it. Multi use for other sports such as volleyball, badminton, pickleball. You could set up batting cages. We could have kids birthday parties in there with Nerf wars,” Gilman said.
Supporters of measure 9-150 — the construction bond and 9-151 — the operating levy — like to combine the numbers and boil them down for voters to comprehend.
“About the cost of a Netflix subscription or maybe a couple of lattes at your favorite Dutch Bros. About the cost of a couple craft beers at your favorite brewery. That’s the cost of doing something for your community, contributing to and investing in your neighbors,” Gilman said
Gilman says the board of directors believes the operating levy can be retired after five years with fees generated from new programs that could be operated out of the new community recreation center.
There is no organized opposition to the measures.