John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool in Oak Harbor is back in business, with fresh new paint, brighter lights, a deep clean and other upgrades, including the one that director Rex Coryell is perhaps most excited about — new filters for the pool.
The filters are not only bigger and better, they are also safer and more efficient, saving many hours and gallons of water, he said.
Levy funds from a November vote were distributed in spring, providing the pool with $840,000 and the ability to keep doors open, after previous failed levies had forced the pool to its doors.
“We pulled through,” Coryell said. After an outpouring of community donations, the pool was able to reopen and the latest levy provided funds needed to begin the revitalization project.
Repairs cost about $130,000, Coryell said, but they aren’t out of the water yet. There’s still a large gap left to meet the North Whidbey Pool, Park and Recreation district’s budget of a million dollars. Fees, fundraisers and donations are needed to make up the difference.
“Running a pool is a really expensive thing to do,” Coryell said.
Currently , the pool is operating with a staff of 25. In its heyday, staff numbered 45 people, Coryell said.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Monday evening to officially welcome the public back after the pool closed for repairs in April and re-opened late June. The restoration process took over five weeks and is expected to completely finish before summer’s end, according to Coryell.
Also on the agenda is expanding lesson offerings, he said.
Many repairs are behind the scenes. Coryell said he wants people to know the district is still working on improving and fixing things .
“It’s quite an amazing amount of repair,” he said.