File photo courtesy of Nick Ulmer
Thanks to repairs made last year, the Wagner Memorial Pool will get a full season of use this summer.

By Ann McCreary

The Wagner Memorial Pool in Twisp opens for the season on Saturday (June 10), offering lap swimming, water aerobics, swimming lessons, swim team and open swimming sessions.

The opening means the Methow Valley Killer Whales swim team will be able to practice in their home pool right away. Last year, leaks and subsequent repairs limited the Whales’ swim time at the Wagner Pool.

While not eliminated entirely, leaks at the 51-year-old pool are “significantly reduced,” said Twisp Mayor Soo Ing-Moody.

The pool underwent major repairs to replace the plaster, lining and gutters last year. Before the pool was filled this year, the contractor returned to correct a fault in the lining at no cost to the town, said Howard Moss, interim public works supervisor.

There are “very few” swimming pools that don’t leak, Moss said.

“It’s very admirable that this pool still operates — thanks largely to Friends of the Pool,” Moss said. “If it weren’t for them, this facility would not be open.”

A local nonprofit organization that supports the community pool, Friends of the Pool has raised money to help pay for pool improvements, including a new boiler and last year’s repairs.

Work on the pool last summer totaled $184,734. Friends of the Pool has raised $179,631 and is working on raising the remaining $5,100 to fund the repairs, said Jackie Moriarty, Twisp clerk.

Twisp is getting close to completing bid specifications for construction of new tennis courts behind the pool, and the first link of a recreational trail along the Methow River, Moss said.

The tennis courts and trail construction will be combined as one project to save money, Moss said. He said the bid package should be ready this month, and a contract may be awarded before the end of July. The project cost is estimated at around $160,000.

“Hopefully the contractor will be able to start and we’ll get it done,” Moss said.

The trail would be the first portion of a longer trail that is proposed to extend through the town. This 1,500-foot section would begin near the shelter in the Twisp Park and run along the river to Methow Street, Moss said. It would include a connecting trail to the tennis courts.