Parks Grants Make a Splash at Evergreen Pool

The Evergreen Aquatic Center is home to an indoor pool that has served White Center and unincorporated King County since 1970. The pool is owned by Highline Public Schools and managed by community-based nonprofit Whitewater Aquatics Management. When this well-loved facility began showing its age and needed major repairs, these partners turned to King County Parks to extend the life of a pool that boasts 80,000 visits per year.

After pool resurfacing worsened cracks in the pool’s original 1970 gutter system, a huge increase in water usage was noticed. The pool was losing 100,000 gallons of water per month. And the solution – redesigning and repairing the entire pool gutter – would cost $300,000 that was not in the budget. Evergreen’s administrators knew they needed help to keep the pool safe and accessible for the long term, so they applied for the King County Parks Levy Grants that, if awarded, would make the gutter repair and other necessary improvements possible.

As the gutter deteriorated, the top of the gutter wall began to fail.

The voter-approved 2020 – 2025 Parks levy allocates approximately $110 million over six years to fund four competitive grant programs, including:

  • Aquatics Facilities grant, which supports capital projects for new and existing public aquatics facilities, and
  • Healthy Communities and Parks Fund, which supports access to recreation, parks, and open space in underserved and historically excluded communities.

In 2022, Highline Public Schools was awarded an Aquatics Facilities grant for $100,000 and Whitewater Aquatics Management was awarded $166,700 from the Healthy Communities and Parks Fund. With this funding secured, everyone was ready to dive into the Evergreen Pool Revitalization Project.

The original design of the pool gutters meant that the only way to access damaged areas was to remove sections of concrete flooring around the entire perimeter of the pool. Once this “lid” was removed, the full extent of the damage was clear: cracks, erosion, and deterioration of the pool walls. Contractors got to work fixing the existing damage and installing a new lid that will simplify monitoring and maintenance in the future.

Cutting off the lid of the gutter to access damage underneath.

The pool was closed for a little over two months before reopening to an eager public on February 6, 2023. With this major project complete, the Evergreen Aquatics Center can move forward with other improvements that will ensure this community gem sparkles for years to come. “It came together because of a group of committed individuals and agencies that supported the Evergreen Pool and its continued presence in the Community,” said Bryan Hastings, President of Whitewater Aquatics Management.  “This job was not possible without the teams from King County Parks and Highline Schools.”

With the gutter repair complete, the pool is ready to welcome swimmers once again.

In 2022, the Parks Levy grant programs awarded more than $30 million to support projects large and small that create and improve access to parks and recreation throughout King County. This year, Parks will award up to $33.6 million to further these efforts. Join the Parks Grants email list to receive updates on this year’s awards and future funding opportunities.

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