Aquatic center groundbreaking

Efforts to build an aquatic center at MLK, Jr. Park celebrated a significant milestone on Wednesday, May 8th, with a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction.

Scheduled participants included Senator Curtis King, Yakima County Commissioner Kyle Curtis, Mayor Patricia Byers, Interim City Manager Dave Zabell, community member Ester Huey, Yakima Parks Commission Chair Rod Bryant and Anthony Peterson of OIC of Washington.

“This is a remarkable achievement by the community,” Yakima Parks and Recreation Manager Ken Wilkinson said of breaking ground on the pool. “An aquatic center for MLK Jr. Park is the realization of a vision years in the making.”

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. 

The estimated cost of the MLK Jr. Park 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 grassroots, community-based committee formed last summer to generate $3 million from private donors to build the aquatic center. All donations are being made to the Yakima Valley Community Foundation (YVCF).

Community pledges to date include $500,000 from OIC of Washington and $225,000 from YVCF. In addition, fundraising drives have been held throughout the community seeking donations for the aquatic center. For example, last fall local children collected over $800 in spare change for the pool effort.

The Yakima City Council on April 16th authorized a contract with Chervenell Construction Company to start work on the Aquatic Center at MLK, Jr. Park.

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 City of Yakima aquatic facilities and programs – Aquatics | Yakima Parks and Recreation