Groundbreaking ceremony May 7 for Hilltop aquatic facility

Metro Parks Tacoma and the City of Tacoma will host a groundbreaking ceremony in May to mark the beginning of a major renovation of an aquatics facility in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood.

Earlier this month, Tacoma City Council approved a purchase resolution awarding a contract worth nearly $6 million to Tacoma-based Construction Enterprises & Contractors to build a new swimming pool and aquatics center at the People’s Community Center, located at 1602 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Way (see “$6M aquatics facility approved for Hilltop community center,” Tacoma Daily Index, April 2, 2015). The center, which was built in 1978, is owned by the City of Tacoma and operated by Metro Parks Tacoma. The pool was closed in 2008 after an engineer’s report cited structural concerns.

A new swimming pool is the centerpiece of the project, which will also include a three-lane lap pool, passive swim area and bench, indoor spray pad, current channel, vortex, and lily pad walk. In addition, visitors will also notice new restrooms and changing areas, two party rooms, and basketball hoops. Three contractors submitted proposals for the project after it was put out for bid in January (see “Tacoma Bid Watch: Hilltop swimming pool, transient camp clean ups, and South Tacoma Way revamp,” Tacoma Daily Index, Feb. 12, 2015; and “Tacoma Bid Watch: Foss Waterway Esplanade, ammo recycling, and People’s Community Center swimming pool,” Tacoma Daily Index, Jan. 13, 2015). The project is being paid for using approximately $3.45 million $5.34 million (see below) in City funds, approximately $1.74 million in Metro Parks Tacoma bonds, and a $485,000 grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce.

The project is scheduled to be completed during summer 2016.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Thurs., May 7, between 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the People’s Community Center. More information is available online here and here.


UPDATE SAT., APRIL 25 @ 2:30 P.M. | This article has been updated to reflect changes to the total cost of the project.

In 2009, a facility audit put the cost to renovate the pool at $5.2 million.

In January 2015, the project was put out for bid with a budget estimated at $4.8 million.


In March 2015, the cost of the project was $5.68 million.


Also in March 2015, a sign outside the People’s Community Center put the project at $6.35 million ($4.7 million in City funding; $1.65 million in Metro Parks Tacoma funding).


In April 2015, a press release from Metro Parks Tacoma put the project cost at $7.6 million.


To read the Tacoma Daily Index‘s complete and comprehensive coverage of the People’s Community Center swimming pool and aquatics center, click on the following links:

Groundbreaking ceremony May 7 for Hilltop aquatic facility

Groundbreaking ceremony May 7 for Hilltop aquatic facility

Groundbreaking ceremony May 7 for Hilltop aquatic facility