Aquatic Recreation Center

Will another vote for a levy be needed to pay for operating the faciilty?

Yes, once built, this facility will have a cost to operate and maintain that is separate from the construction costs that will be paid with the bonds referenced above.  A portion of these costs will be covered with user fees and rentals.  The remainder will be addressed with a planned supplemental maintenance and operations levy.

This supplemental levy for operations and maintenance will be proposed in 2026, in combination with the regular parks levy.  This estimated information is provided now in order that the voting public be made aware additional tax dollars will be required to operate and maintain the facility.

Assessed Value Monthly Cost
Annual Cost
400,000 $2.44 $29.27
450,000 $2.74 $32.92
500,000 $3.05 $36.58
550,000 $3.35 $40.24
600,000 $3.66 $43.90

Estimated timeline

If the bond measure is approved by the voters, construction would begin later in 2024.  The facility is anticipated to open to the public in late 2026 or early 2027.

What is planned for this facility?

  • Multipurpose warm learning pool for swim lessons, water safety, physical therapy, water aerobics, water walking, core fitness, and family recreation
  • Multipurpose lap pool for family and lap swim, lessons, swim teams, vertical exercise, and water safety training
  • Multipurpose rooms for community meetings, party rentals, and activities
  • Multipurpose fitness area for wellness activities including yoga, Pilates, and dance
  • Staff offices for the Park District

Where will the facility be located?

The chosen site is in Community Park at the Maxwelton Road entrance.

The site was selected because it is:

  • on land already owned by the public
  • in a central location between Freeland, Clinton, and Langley
  • served by Island Transit
  • near the public schools
  • a short drive from Highway 525
  • closely connected to the Parks trail system, fields, picnic shelters, sport courts, and other facilities

What activities are planned for the facility?

  • Water safety
  • Learn to swim
  • Therapy and rehabilitative services
  • Family recreation
  • Aquatic fitness
  • Youth swim clubs
  • School swim teams
  • Robotics and other special project activities
  • Special needs programs
  • Stand up paddleboard and kayak classes
  • Community functions, parties, entertainment
  • Day camp programs
  • Sports programs and camps

What about Environmental Stewardship?

One of the guiding principles for South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District operations is to develop, operate, and maintain the parks system in an environmentally responsible manner. The design, construction, and operation of this Aquatic Recreation Center will be done with clear focus on this principle of environmental stewardship.  Elements of the environmental stewardship plan include:

  • Siting the facility in a central location on a transit line
  • Developing the site in a responsible manner
  • Using sustainable, recyclable building materials
  • Building a highly insulated structure
  • Choosing high efficiency HVAC systems
  • Designing a high efficiency pool heating system
  • Including solar in the building design to reduce the carbon footprint of the facility
  • Developing wastewater, stormwater systems to recharge aquifers

Who will operate and maintain the facility once it is up and running?

The facility will be operated and maintained by the Parks District. Currently, the Parks District rents office space from Island County. The plan to put the Parks District staff offices in the building will make the operation most cost-effective and will make this building the de facto Parks headquarters for the future.

Tell me more about the Parks District

South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District is a local government entity overseen by a volunteer group of five citizens elected by District voters. The budget to operate and maintain the Parks system is from a voted levy provided by the citizens of the District. The District operates with a small staff of three office and three maintenance employees who administer District recreation programs and maintain more than 400 acres at six park sites. Oversight of this staff is provided by the District Board of Commissioners and audits of District finances are conducted biennially by the State of Washington.

Link to draft of DD set for Aquatic Recreation Center.  This is not the final set, but the updated draft as of January 2024.