Fircrest Pool and Community Center Project:
Frequently Asked Questions
In April 2019, City of Fircrest voters approved a parks bond to fund a new Community Center and Pool to replace the aging Roy H. Murphy Community Center and Pool in Fircrest Park. The City has finalized the design for the pool, and has chosen Kassel and Associates, Inc. to construct the pool. The City is getting ready to start construction on the first phase of the project in August 2019. The second phase will begin in 2021.
Why is the City building these new facilities?
The Roy H. Murphy Community Center and Pool have served as Fircrest’s central gathering place since 1960. But after nearly 60 years, the facilities have reached the end of their useful life. It’s time to replace them with a new pool and community center that will serve generations of Fircrest families to come.
What will be included in the new pool and community center?
- Larger 15,000 sq. ft. community center with spaces for weddings, business rentals and other events, community kitchen, teen room and other gathering places. The center will also serve as an emergency shelter for the community.
- High-school sized, multi-purpose gym for sports and fitness programs
- 25-yard pool with 6 lap lanes, a diving board and a whirlpool play area
- Kiddie pool
- Pool house, including locker rooms, party rooms and community kitchen
- Outdoor plaza and pedestrian pathway better connecting the community center, pool and park
- Clean contemporary design throughout, incorporating natural light and environmentally friendly elements
How much will it cost?
The total project cost is estimated at $18 million. We are on track with the first phase, as the pool construction contract was awarded to Kassel and Associates for $5 million and is within our budget projection. Including design and other soft costs, the pool’s total cost is estimated at $7.5 million.
How will the City pay for it?
The City has raised $8.6 million from the following sources:
- $3 million from The Names Family Foundation
- $2 million gift from the Bill and Joyce Edwards Family Foundation
- $1 million gift from the Tom and Meg Names Family Foundation
- $1.75 million from Washington state grants
- $750,000 from City reserves
- $152,500 gift from the Clint and Diane Names Family Branch Fund
- $20,000 from Columbia Bank
- $5,000 Johnson, Stone & Pagano, P.S.
The City is accepting gifts from the generous public who have a passion for the pool and community center.
The rest will come from a park bond approved by 79% of Fircrest voters in April 2019 that authorizes up to $13.5 million. The City’s goal is to use less than that full amount.
What will the park bond cost homeowners?
The park bond will cost Fircrest property owners an estimated 68 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The current median home value in Fircrest is $390,000, and that homeowner would pay an estimated $265 a year, or $22 per month.
What types of programs will be offered at the center and pool? How will ongoing operational costs be covered?
We will increase programming for all ages, general community use and rentals, based on community needs. For example, the senior yoga program is growing in popularity; more classes will be offered. The youth basketball league is currently at capacity; the new gym will allow more teams and players to register. The party room at the pool will be available for year-round event rentals. The multipurpose rooms in the new center will be better configured for rentals and classes.
The new community center is not expected to cost any more to operate than the current facility. Even though the new center will be larger, it will be more cost-efficient to operate than maintaining the current 59-year-old facility.
Will there be fees to use the pool and kiddie pool?
It’s too soon to know exactly how the fee structure will work, but the City is analyzing fee structures. Kids under a certain age will have free admittance to both pools. Access to the pool by Fircrest residents is always the top priority, which is why there are resident and non-resident rates.
What about parking around the new community center and Fircrest Park?
During the design process, both the community and the City Council recommended reducing on-site parking so that the new pool and community center would not encroach too far into the park. To increase overall parking capacity, angle-in street parking around the park will be designed and built by the City. Currently, the Fircrest Community Center has 21 on-site parking spaces and 24 street spots. The new project will have an estimated increase of 16 parking spots to 62 parking spaces, which is a combined total of on-site and street parking spaces. View the Site Plan Rendering materials here when they become available.
What is the timeline for completing the project?
The city will build the facilities in two phases. Pool construction started on August 19, 2019, with the goal of it to be completed in mid June 2020. The pool opening is TBD. Once the pool is open, we will finish designing the community center and build it in 2021.
Are there any other improvements to local parks included in the bond?
If construction bids come in as expected, we would like to make the following park improvements:
- Improvements to the field turf at Fircrest Park (est. $100,000)
- Upgrading the baseball field at Whittier Park to accommodate adults (est. $35,000)
- Improvements to the irrigation system at Whittier Park (est. $40,000)
- Renovation of the restroom at Whittier Park (est. $30,000)
- Improvements to the tennis courts at Fircrest Park (est. $26,000)
- Improving the roof of the Fircrest Park pavilion (est. $5,000)
- New electrical panels at Fircrest and Whittier Parks (est. $10,000)
- Lighting improvements at Fircrest and Whittier Parks (est. $300,000)
- Replacement of the Fircrest Park storage garage (est. $35,000)
- Additional paved paths at Fircrest Park (est. $58,000)
- CITY PROS Plan
How will this affect the Fircrest Soccer Club? Will they lose any space?
The City and the nonprofit Fircrest Soccer Club (FSC) have been partners for over 30 years. The FSC board endorses this project, and the City is committed to making sure fields remain viable for the club. In fact, the park bond includes turf, irrigation and lighting improvements to Fircrest and Whittier Parks that would provide better playing surfaces.
How can I stay informed about the project?
- Check our website to find the latest information. There will be a construction camera to follow the construction progress.
- Follow the City of Fircrest Facebook page for updates.
- You’ll find bi-monthly updates in our Town Topics newsletter included in your utility bill.
- Attend bi-weekly City County Meeting to hear regular project/construction updates. One can check out the latest agenda and minutes from the meetings here.
Who do I contact with questions?
Contact City Manager Scott Pingel at email@example.com or 253-564-8901.