Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
YMCA of Washington County is well on its way to a new indoor pool facility, with $1.1 million of the $5.5 million project raised since its announcement in June.
“We know from our work on the first phase that there are so many more people that want to support this aquatic center,” Washington County YMCA CEO Amy Schulte said. “With everyone’s help, we are dedicated to making this a reality before we have to retire the original YMCA pool.”
Schulte said the new pool would have a multitude of features, including a 6-lane competition-size pool, a smaller recreational pool, a two-lap pool for therapy and aquatic classes and a zero depth entry, a sauna, a whirlpool, and spectator seating for up to 100.
Schulte said the investment would be worth every penny.
“We know this is a big undertaking, but the design has to meet the current and future needs,” she said. “We only get one opportunity to build a facility that will meet the variety of needs that we have in Washington County.”
Schulte said she hoped to supplement the donations with grant money.
“I have already begun the work on a grant through the Wellmark Foundation that can be submitted in February, and we will continue to meet with donors over the coming months,” she said. “This will be a countywide effort to gain support for the project, as this facility will serve the entire county. In fact, 48% of the swimmers in our current facility live outside of the city of Washington, and 21% are from outside of Washington County.”
While the original pool, built in 1924, remains in operation, a news release from the Washington YMCA said it had shut down four times since November 2020, costing $10,000 in repairs and interrupting swim lessons, laps swims and other programs. Y officials hope to complete the new pool before sinking more substantial costs into the 97-year-old facility.
“The YMCA is … pursuing an aggressive time frame and hopes to be building in 2023,” the news release said. “Obviously, we need to have a successful fundraising campaign in order to meet this time frame, but we have heard the community when they have asked for a new pool, and we are ready to work with them to build it.”