Grants, donations will support $100,000 project
By Ann McCreary
On Saturday a Methow Valley summer tradition begins — the Wagner Memorial Pool will open for the season, providing lessons, aerobics and lap swim, swim meets and a cool retreat for kids and adults from the heat of the valley summer.
Supporting this “community treasure” is a dedicated group of local volunteers called Friends of the Pool, formed in 2003 when Twisp officials contemplated not opening the pool because of budget constraints.
“We are dedicated to keeping this jewel in the valley,” said Patty Yates, a longtime member of Friends of the Pool, a nonprofit organization that has raised money to help improve and maintain the facility over the years.
This year Friends of the Pool has taken on an ambitious new project — raising funds to replace the surface layers of the aging pool.
“We need to resurface the pool to get more years out of it,” said Yates. “This pool is just coming up on its 50th year. We hope to have it resurfaced for next summer,” for its half-century anniversary.
Community members can learn more about plans for the pool at an open house hosted by Friends of the Pool on Friday (June 12) from 4-6 p.m. The open house will feature light refreshments and a tour of the pool facilities. People will have an opportunity to sign up for swim lessons and purchase season passes.
The resurfacing project has gotten a jump-start with a $50,000 grant from Moccasin Lake Foundation. Winthrop Kiwanis raised $12,291 for the project at its annual Bite of the Methow dinner, Yates said.
The Methow Valley Senior Center contributed $2,000 and Hank and Judy Konrad have donated $1,000. That leaves approximately $33,000 to get the job done, Yates said.
The pool has been leaking water for years, despite ongoing efforts by Twisp public works officials to find and fix all the leaks.
“Pool water is leaking through the liner into the ground. We lose about 1,200 gallons a day,” said Andrew Denham, public works superintendent.
The problem can be fixed by replacing the liner and coating of the pool, Denham said. The liner is like grouting that seals the concrete structure of the pool, and is painted with a coating.
The two layers over the concrete shell that forms the pool would be blasted and ground away and replaced, he said.
“We’re hoping to do it next spring, before the pool opens,” he said.
For information about Friends of the Pool call 997-2910. Donations can be made to Friends of the Pool, P.O. Box 438, Twisp, WA 98856.