Q1: Why two pools?
We want to meet the needs of the community regardless of age or ability. A 25 yard, four-lane pool heated to 86 degrees will be suitable for lap swimming, swim team practice, water aerobics and family recreation. A smaller pool heated to 92 degrees will be appropriate for those recovering from injuries, for water walking and for learn to swim classes. Together, a wide variety of programming and classes for all ages can be offered.
Q2: Is this an outdoor pool or is it covered?
The ultimate goal is a year-round, covered pool, or natatorium. Depending on how quickly our capital goals are met, the project may need to happen in two phases. Phase One would be an outdoor facility specifically designed and constructed to support the Phase Two enclosure made of high-efficiency, translucent materials and designed with side doors which will be opened in the summer.
Q3: Will the pool be chlorinated or a saltwater pool?
The pool will be saltwater with UV purification. The rapid technological advances in saltwater pools over the past ten years ensure a low maintenance system, with far fewer corrosion problems than seen in comparable facilities with older systems. From a feasibility study done for the Snohomish Pool facility, we learned that a supplementary UV purification component will bring even better results with less maintenance.
Q4: Are you concerned about having enough water?
No. Again, technological advances in pool equipment and water conservation procedures mean that much less water is needed than ever before. Water is used, treated and recirculated. Eventually, any excess water can be used for landscape irrigation. Modern pools are so efficient that it’s the bath house showers and toilets which consume the greater amount of water. Total daily use at full occupancy will be approximately 1700 gallons, 1500 of which is shower and toilet use. Superior equipment and techniques mean that a fraction of the water traditionally used for periodic but necessary backwashing of the pool will be needed. The well on the property is high in quality and output and more than able to handle the ongoing water demands of the entire facility.
Q5: It is one thing to raise money to build the pool, another to maintain it. How will the pool be maintained?
We are indeed fortunate to have recently received a $500,000 gift, specified by the donor to create a maintenance reserve fund. But conservative revenue projections based on stats compiled from the USA Swimming Association, the National Aqua Master Plan Study, Lopez Island demographics and an independent feasibility study completed for FLIP, show that annual revenues for a year-round pool on Lopez should exceed expenses by over $75,000. There are fourteen pool facilities in Washington sustainably operating in communities of similar size to Lopez Island.
Q6: Will there be lifeguards?
Yes, we plan to have lifeguards on duty any time the pool is open. In fact, the pool plans to train and hire local high school and college-aged students for many of the guard positions.