Letter to the Editor: Response to Dan Evans' Letter

Thursday, September 26, 2019

To the Editor:

In response to Mr. Dan Evan’s letter about the Shoreline pool, please consider this:

The current pool was built for use in the 1970s. If only it were about a new roof and a new boiler!

What about seismic retrofitting and ADA accessibility upgrades? And the need to reduce greenhouse gases with green technologies?

The fact is that system failures that staff must mitigate occur on a regular basis. For instance, recently when the alarm system failed, staff made hourly sweeps of the facility to ensure patron safety. A dysfunction such as this goes unnoticed by those in the water, but exemplifies what it takes to maintain our aged facility. Soon, band aids will longer work. We need to plan for the day when the pool just can't be fixed.

Furthermore, even if the pool were renovated, it would not meet the requirements of the Shoreline School District’s swim teams – they need more lanes and greater capacity for spectators. They deserve seating capacity for their families and those of visiting teams.

Nor does it meet the needs of seniors who rely on water aerobics and a variety of fitness programs for health and well-being. Specifically, for those who live most of their daily lives in wheelchairs, being able to float suspended in water provides a remarkable sense of rest and recuperation.

And consider that the current pool isn’t sufficient for those who want more opportunities to play in the water. A new leisure pool that caters to youngsters, even babies, will meet the demands of our young families. Features such as a splash pad and lazy river can turn a gloomy day into a delightful outing.

Finally, combining the aquatic and community centers offers many more ways to respond to the needs of those who reside (and vote) in Shoreline – both will serve multi-generations under the same roof.

Shoreline residents deserve an Aquatic and Community Center that looks to the future. Vote yes on Prop 1.

Robin McClelland
Campaign for Parks, Pool, Recreation


Anonymous,  September 26, 2019 at 2:34 AM  

"They deserve seating capacity for their families and those of visiting teams."
And I deserve affordable property taxes. If the city needed additional revenue they shouldn't have given developers of these huge apartment buildings 12 year total residential property tax breaks!!

herrbrahms September 26, 2019 at 4:53 AM  

Robin, a few rebuttals to the points you made:

1. ADA access. I have seen with my own eyes pool lifts in use at Shoreline Pool, though not recently.  If there is some malfunction in the lift itself or its anchors along the pool deck, that could easily be addressed during a renovation.  Zero entry is not the only solution that brings us into compliance.

2. Alarm system.  Upgrades to more energy efficient windows and exterior doors would provide ample opportunity to address any deficiencies in the alarm system that are causing work for pool staff.

3. Needs of seniors.  While the addition of a lazy river and splash pool would be fun for children, the current concept plan available at the link* below includes neither a sauna nor a hot tub, both of which are features that cater to the older, achier crowd.

4. Greenhouse gases.  I can categorically state that greenhouse gas emissions would not be reduced with a new facility, unless the city intends to replace cost-effective natural gas heating with three phase electrical heating from Seattle City Light -- which of course they would never do because operating expenses would skyrocket.  Gas heating is the only economical solution when it comes to heating a municipal pool, even if there are solar panels on the roof.

When calculating how much energy is required to heat a pool, the three biggest factors are a) water surface area, b) boiler efficiency, c) heat loss to the environment.  While a new building would do a better job of controlling heat loss than the old building would even after efficiency renovations, the other factors are neutral or a step backward.
A boiler is a boiler, no matter where it is installed.  A 98% efficient gas-fired condensing boiler would wring more heat from every cubic foot of gas consumed than the old boiler in Shoreline Pool.  A new boiler would be installed in the new pool, or should be installed in the old pool.  There's no difference.

Where greenhouse gas emissions would increase is in the larger water surface area and volume of the new facility.  Based upon the concept plan, water surface area would increase by roughly 70% once the leisure pool is added in.  Additionally, all the fun sprayers and water features that kids love would increase evaporative cooling of the pool water and give the boiler still more work to do.  If you're heating tens of thousands of gallons more than you were before, and much of that water is being atomized rather than sitting with a still surface, you're going to burn a lot more dinosaurs. 

It's simple thermodynamics, and I'd ask you to withdraw the claim that a new facility would be any greener than a retrofitted facility would be.

Essentially, the Pro argument from the swim boosters seems to be that two additional lanes and more bleacher seating are worth a $100 million outlay.  I'll leave readers to make their own judgment as to whether that's the case.


Dan Adams

Anonymous,  September 27, 2019 at 12:46 PM  

....Dan is correct..... in addition,I can't afford to pay $500 a year for TWENTY YEARS while all the builders and developers are not paying taxes!!!

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