Sunday, January 22, 2017

An Aquatic/Recreation Center -- Do You Believe In Miracles?

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King County's Marymoor Park velodrome and climbing rock
An Aquatic/Recreation Center here?

Do you believe in miracles?  Outrageous news!  A process is underway between the County, Redmond, Bellevue and Kirkland for an East King County  "Aquatic/Recreation Facility."  King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci successfully advocated for up to $2 million for a facility during the 2017-2018 budget process.

According to Balducci's Senior Policy Analyst, Joe Cunningham:
There is not a location yet for the regional aquatics facility. Discussions thus far have focused on identifying public land. A process is underway (with the cities and County) to explore what locations are conceivable and public input will be sought. Councilmember Balducci is interested in ensuring a location is found that would be easily accessible from all three cities.
There's buzz around "town" that the cities may choose King County's Marymoor Park as the preferred site. It seems a good location for all.  If you look South from the climbing rock and velodrome you'll see an incredible large piece of fallow open space.  So, there's plenty of acreage for a very large aquatics facility and parking, without infringing on the dog park, bird loop and other uses.

However, not all Redmond, Kirkland and Bellevue citizens center their indoor recreational needs around aquatic swimming, therapy pools, and children splash areas. I don't. Some may want a gym for basketball, dodge ball, a weight room, a running track, exercise classes and martial arts.  Then there's family activities, play areas, dance and art opportunities to consider.  Parks commissioner Tom Sanko suggested the Sumner-Y as a model for activity ideas. Check it out!

After looking at the Sumner-Y website, you may well decide an Aquatic/Recreational Center is the way to go.  And VERY important, the facility should be cost-effective with the two other cities and the county partnering.

An aquatics/recreation facility is a wonderful thing, but we Redmondites need to focus even more in deciding on a downtown Community Center.  The Center location has already been vetted, but what do we want to put in it?  Business and personal meeting spaces, children play areas, clay studios, other hobby areas, space for large community events, digital and visual art space, computer areas, education opportunities, and a help-center are some of the ideas floating around.  If you can think of other uses, please contact Mayor Marchione's office staff at

Bob Yoder, opinion
photo B.Y.

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