Two Big Donations Jump Start MLK, Jr. Park Aquatic Center Fundraising

Efforts to build an aquatic center at MLK, Jr. Park gained significant momentum today when OIC of Washington (OIC) announced it has pledged $500,000 to the project and the Yakima Valley Community Foundation (YVCF) said it was giving a gift of $225,000.

“Delivering on the promise of a top-quality aquatic center being built to serve not only the northeast and southeast Yakima neighborhoods but the entire community really resonated with the OIC leadership,” said OIC CEO Anthony Peterson. 

“The foundation is committed to building infrastructure and opportunities for historically-underrepresented communities and the aquatic center project is emblematic of that goal,” said YVCF CEO Sharon Miracle. 

A grassroots, community-based committee was formed earlier this summer to generate

$3 million from private donors to build the aquatic center.  All donations are being made to the YVCF, who is also managing the aquatic center fund.

“The foundation’s gift honors Ms. Ester Huey, a former member of the foundation’s board, for her tireless work on projects like the aquatic center and so many others that have improved Yakima and supported our community’s youth,” said Miracle.

“OIC’s vision statement is, ‘Improving the world by empowering people’,” said Peterson.  “The aquatic center will play a big role in empowering the people of Yakima for generations to come.”

Design work on what is being called the “Aquatic Center at MLK, Jr. Park” has been underway since last year.  Yakima Parks & Recreation has recently been sharing artist’s renderings of the aquatic center at Yakima City Council meetings, other City committee meetings, and with community organizations.

The estimated cost of the aquatic center is about $11 million.  The City and Yakima County have each committed $3 million to the project.  The Washington State Legislature has also contributed more than $2 million to the aquatic center.

A pool at MLK, Jr. Park (which was called Washington Park at the time) was closed in 2006 due to its having reached the end of its life span.  The year before that, the City closed Miller Pool in Northeast Yakima and Eisenhower Pool on the west side of the city for the same reason. 

Construction of the Aquatic Center at MLK, Jr. Park is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2024.

Click on the following link to learn more about the YVCF and how to donate to the Aquatic Center Fund –

Click on the following link to learn more about OIC –