Sno-Valley Aquatic Center Interest Group

Many Duvall-Carnation residents want and need to have an aquatic center in our valley; a swimming pool for year-round activities inviting health and recreation to all ages and capabilities. It won’t be an overnight success. We have to plan and work towards making it a reality. So spread the word and help us engage our local officials to help us find and secure the best POSSIBLE SITE with easy access and appropriate environmental conditions.


So where are we now? We have begun the search for the development of a Parks District WHICH IS KEY TO CREATING THE SNO-VALLEY AQUATIC CENTER. A parks district is a separate entity, like a water district which would provide for all parks within its boundaries, which could be the entire Lower Snoqualmie Valley region or just Carnation-Duvall, if we want it to. More on this later. 


It was a cold and dreary night on March 25th but  the Cedarcrest Library was a good place to be for a Duvall Community Workshop on Park Planning with neighbors and creative thinkers from around the valley. 25 or 30 brave souls shouldered the weather and came to participate in ideas for the next 5 to 20 year comprehensive plan for parks, trails and open/green spaces around Duvall.  




The outcome of the discussions which also included a Duvall belt pedestrian/bike path  and network trails connecting all the parks, restroom facilities (instead of port-a-,pots) where needed, sidewalks where needed and one or more heritage park areas, was an engaging process and will lead to a more finalized plan later in June. 


We encourage you, if there are questions or comments regarding the comprehensive park  plan, you can contact Cari Hornbein,  City of Duvall at a   425 788 1156




For more information please visit our website at


YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED From Duvall and Carnation Areas!


Join us March 25th

Sno-Valley Aquatic Center Interest Group Still working on your behalf!

Are you interested in…
Swim Lessons Competitive Sports
Recreational Swimming Water Aerobics
Water Safety Training Hydro-therapy/Rehab
Interactive Play Structures Meeting/Party Facilities
Local Family Fun for EVERYONE?

For more information please visit our website at

YOUR SUPPORT IS NEEDED From Duvall and Carnation Areas!

Have your opinions heard!
The City of Duvall will be holding a Community Workshop
for developing OUR plan for Parks and Recreation
in and around our community.
This includes indoor and outdoor facilities.
The time is now!
Cedarcrest High School, Library
March 25th – 7:00 PM Duvall Parks Planning Meeting

Please participate in helping build our future!

Community Presentations

Rose Hollis and Maura Van Ness spoke to the Duvall City Council in October of 2007 and requested city administrative support. A PowerPoint presentation was conducted for the Duvall Rotary Club in November of 2007 and another is planned for Carnation City Council and Chamber of Council in February 2008.  

Presenting Our Findings

As a result of discussions at the June 6th meeting, it was decided to enlist the services of Mike Dilley to develop a formal, Power Point presentation which introduces the Mission, Vision and Objectives of the Sno Valley Aquatic Center Interest Group. The presentation will also include research on the health and safely issues that are at the heart of our proposal. Mike will show examples of a various, efficient and successful facility designs, and talk about the importance of proven, revenue-generating programming. The results of our survey will be presented as well.

Our purpose in developing this presentation is so that several of us will be able to start addressing leaders in government and business, in the towns of Duvall and Carnation and Fall city, in a series of meetings starting in October. It is crucial that the leadership in these communities take the initiative and start the wheels turning to make our Vision a reality. A facility of this size will need the support and cooperation of the leadership of the entire valley if it is to become a reality and operate successfully. To demonstrate how communities leaders might go forward, Mike Dilley will include examples of successful aquatic facility collaborations between government entities and community non-profit groups. There are examples nation-wide, but also several here in Washington.

Aquatic Center Interest Group members will be notified of the date, time and location of the presentations as we are able to schedule them. We are currently on the agenda to speak to the Duvall Rotary Club in October, and would like to also address the Duvall City Council, the Carnation City Council and the Carnation business community. We will also be contacting community leaders in Fall City for an opportunity to discuss this initiative.

We are very encouraged as we continue to hear great enthusiasm and strong statements of support at every turn.

June 6th Meeting Announcement

Tomorrow night, Wednesday the 6th is the next meeting of the Aquatic Center Interest Group.

Place: Duvall Fire Station Meeting Room (NE corner of 1st St. and Stella)

Time: 6 p.m.

At this meeting we will be introducing Mike Dilley of Synergy Enterprises.
Mike has been involved in aquatics for 40 years, and has been a great resource for our group with his advise on how facility design and programming are essential to developing a self-sustaining (or even
profitable) Aquatics Facility. We have asked him to share his thoughts on how to approach community leaders, and with the support of this group, to develop and participate in a well organized presentation.

Mike has been an American Red Cross certified Instructor and Instructor Trainer 40 years and an Aquatics Facility Supervisor for 20 years. His experience includes rewriting Aquatic and Facility Manuals, and reviewing operations, safety, and staff policies, training, and procedures. He has been responsible for facility operations and maintenance of up to 4 year round swimming pools and over 25,000 square feet of facility at Samena Club, Bellevue, City of Shoreline, Metro Parks Tacoma, and King County Parks Department, Seattle. His duties have included preparation of yearly budgets including programming, operations, maintenance, capital improvements, staffing and utilities. Over the years Mike has participated in three major renovation projects at the Peoples Pool, Tacoma; Shoreline Pool, Shoreline; and Samena Club, Bellevue, WA. Those facilities were awarded two of five grants written by Mike.

Please join us!

Rose Hollis
Sno Valley Aquatic Interest Group
Communications Coordinator

Featured in The Valley View, March 26 2007

Vision of Eastman-Rush pool still lives

Long-time dream for aquatic center continues;

Discounted Swimming Lessons offered for local Kids

Speaking of swimming lessons for kids, what ever happened to the Eastman-Rush Foundation? People ask that all the time.

In the summer of 1972 two Carnation youths tragically drown in two separate incidents in the Snoqualmie Valley. John Eastman and Steve Rush were both athletes at Tolt High School. A local resident, named Ron Oldring came forward and said” It’s time to start a pool fund. Here is my $100 donation.” And from the grief their family and friends faced, a dream was born in the name of those two boys. A Board was formed for the Eastman-Rush Foundation and the efforts began to create a swimming pool facility for the community of Snoqualmie Valley. Weekly Bingo Games after several years raised $50,000. The sale of brick tiles , engraved with names that would be used to line the entrance for the new pool along with the Bingo games grew the sum to $100,000 in the 1980’s. Some of the money was spent on youth programs but fundraisers did continue.

In the early 1990’s, the Board hired a pool consultant , Don Cary& Associates, who conducted a feasibility study in the valley for a pool and recreation facility. A survey of 400 people showed a strong interest in the pool project with 93 % stating they would use the pool and 84% saying they would help pay for the pool. Presentations were made but sadly there was a rapid decline of funds and a loss of heart as disappointed volunteers dwindled.

In 1998, the Foundation, on the verge of collapse was infused with new board members who changed the name to Valley Recreation Association, in order to be more descriptive of the goals which was to provide a safe and healthy place for residents to learn swim instruction, and to enjoy games, events and exercise in the valley for Duvall, Carnation and Fall City residents, young and old alike. After a time, the governing board determined that it was no longer feasible to construct and maintain a facility with the resources they had available .

The board approached the YMCA in 2000 about putting the remaining $20,000. into an endowment fund. This fund was designated to foster water safety programs and to teach children to swim from the Valley area. As an endowment fund, the principal of the fund is never touched, and the interest earnings of about $1,000. per year, are to be used for swim lessons. The YMCA uses the earnings from the “Eastman-Rush Memorial Aquatics Endowment” to scholarship youths from the Snoqualmie Valley at the Northshore YMCA, located a short distance from the Woodinville Home Depot. Swim lessons are open for YMCA members and nonmembers and classes are available on a first come first serve basis. To see if your child qualifies for discounted lessons, call the Northshore YMCA to enroll before the summer season starts at the rivers and lakes. March 31 is the enrollment period for members and April 4th is enrollment for nonmembers. Call the Northshore YMCA for registration information at 425 485-9797.

The scholarship will be a blessing for some kids, but what about the other kids in the valley? A group of volunteers has been working for the past six months on a proposal to build an aquatic center to accommodate ALL the kids in the valley–and the community as well.

If you are interested in helping to make this dream a reality, contact: SnoValley Aquatic Center Interest Group/P.O. BOX 866/Duvall.WA.98019 or log onto the website

Meeting Minutes 02.08.07

Attendees:  Becky Johnson, Maura Van Ness, Rose Hollis, Peggy Loomis, Pam Bowling, Kim Lisk, Larry Rhule, Lin McBride, Carroll Whipple, Dawn Saunders

We started with introductions and individual visions for the project:

Rose Hollis stated she is new to the community and finds this a good community project to work on.

Maura Van Ness has been inspired by doing water therapy and wants to bring this to the valley.

Kim Lisk worked diligently on a past community pool facility project known as the Eastman Rush-Foundation and then Valley Recreation Association Board and currently teaches private swimming lessons in her own backyard pool.  She would like to see a pool in the valley and recognizes the challenges of not enough community participation.

Pam Bowling teaches water aerobics and would like to see a local pool for the needs of our community.

Lin McBride recognizes the need for a community gathering place and sees this as an opportunity to fill that need.

Larry Rhule (director of the Si View municipal parks commercial pools) is very knowledgeable about pools and has a lot of information to offer.

Peg Loomis is also interested in seeing this project as an opportunity to create a community gathering place.

Rose gave a summary review of past meetings:

Maura and Rose gave a summary of actions they have taken since the last
    Official Interim Name:  Snoqualmie Valley Aquatic Center Interest Group
    E-mail address,
    P.O. Box 866 Duvall, WA,

Kathryn Thompson has volunteered to design and set up the website which is underway:  (under construction)

There was a short discussion about a feasibility study done in the late ‘90s.  There apparently was one done which had negative results, but much has changed including the major change of a sewer system in Carnation, and a population boom all over the valley.  Another feasibility study for a pool facility is now necessary for needs assessment and community interest.

Site possibilities
Maura and Rose had a meeting with Chuck McWilliams, V.P. of Lake Washington Vo-tech.  A new campus is schedule to be built east of Safeway in about 5 years.  He suggested talking with the developer CAM WEST, who will be donating the land for the college.  Perhaps the developer would be open to including a pool site in the area of the housing development which may go up before the college is built.
Thrive Fitness is planning to build a new facility in the area along Hwy 203 just south of Copper Hill.   Jeff Wolf, one of the owners and a member of the Duvall Planning Commission, is willing to explore the possibility of sharing/selling a piece of their property for an Aquatic Center.
The school district is planning to build a new Jr. High.  This site may be worth looking into.

The King County Library is planning a new building for Duvall and is looking for partner to share a site.  

More research must be done to determine how large a site will be needed for an Aquatic Center.  The group will continue to explore all possibilities for site location.

Facility Research
Maura and Rose had a meeting with Michael Dilley who is a planning director for the Red Cross and has many years of professional experience working for Aquatic facilities Operations/Facility Management as well as Administrative/Program Management.  He was able to offer many suggestions on how to design a facility that would be flexible enough to accommodate diverse aquatic programs, from competitive swimming to leisure time family activities.   He was adamant that the traditional “rectangular pool” would not be self supporting in the long or the short run because of the programming limitations of that design.   He offered a very interesting alternate design that has proven successful: A pool with a “Zero Entry”, fan shaped area at one end, with a deep water section at the other end for lap swimming lanes, aerobics classes, and even a slide.  Successful facilities also have a second, much warmer, therapy pool with wheel chair access, and even a third small, very shallow, splash pool for toddlers.  He was also very knowledgeable about recent innovations in pool design for energy efficient water filtration and heating systems, and air exchange (humidity control).  He also explained how the Red Cross is able to provide training in water safety programs and soon may also be able to offer training for pool operations management.

Michael has a private consulting firm and would be willing (for a fee) to do a presentation to further demonstrate and explain of the above pool design strategies to a large group.

Avenues for Support
Lin brought up the idea of contacting Cathy Lambert (King County Council representative).  Lin stated that she would e-mail her.

Maura and Rose met with Sharon Simas, Chairperson for SPLASH (swimming pools for leisure active sports and health). Their role in our area is described as: to encourage Eastside pools.   According to Maura, they are willing to umbrella us in (501C3 status) so we could begin using a non-profit status.

The idea was raised that finding groups to use the pool on off hours would be helpful, i.e.: Kayakers are willing to rent pools to practice during non peak, late night hours.   Competitive swim teams in the area may also be interested in using the pool for workouts during non-peak hours.

Eastman Rush Endowment Update
Kim Lisk recovered boxes of files from the church. Maura condensed this material to pertinent information. There have been conversations with a lawyer (Bill Holloway).  Evidently, the foundation hired a consultant to develop a proposal (Don Cary), and the feeling was that the money spent on the proposal was mismanaged.  There was over $100,000 raised; most was spent on the proposal.  When the VRA was dissolved, a disputed amount ($15,000 to $22,000) was donated to the YMCA, and the Eastman Rush Endowment Fund was created.  Maura and Rose discussed their interactions with Peter Morris (the group VP for Seattle Area YMCAs).  The interest earnings on this money is to be used for partial scholarships for Snoqualmie Valley swimmers. The people who have attempted to use this money for scholarships have apparently been unsuccessful.  Prior to the meeting, a discussion occurred about the Eastman Rush funds.  The question came up: Why can’t the Eastman Rush scholarship money be used for lessons at the 2 local pools which are giving public lessons?

Maura and Rose plan to hear further next week from Peter Morris in an effort to track down the details.  A conversation ensued about the importance of getting this information clear and concise before we present it to the public.  It was agreed that continued efforts would be made to clarify the process for applying for swimming lesson scholarships, and if possible to obtain documentation that tracks the history of the creation of the Eastman Rush Endowment and an accounting  of the use of those funds by valley residents.

Maura suggested that the next meeting could focus on creating a survey.

It was suggested that order of projects should be:
 phone survey
 more organized written survey
 collate data
 create a report/proposal

Rose stated that she would  reach some those who expressed interest at the last meeting in helping with the survey.

It was suggested that the phone survey would be more organized if everyone called from one place.  The Coldwell Banker Bain Real Estate office has allowed people to use their phones for calling in the past and would possibly be an option.

We need people to get involved and sign to work as committees: this was emphasized by Rose and Larry.

Larry suggested that when we get the point that we are ready to do fundraising, it would be helpful to approach the really wealthy people in the area to solicit donations.

At some point it would be a good idea to have do a press release and get a booth at the Carnation 4th of July event and Duvall Days. 

Larry said it would be beneficial to reach out to local private swim teams (which are very well-funded organizations.) Wave Aquatics was mentioned.  This apparently involves apx. 300 students.  Larry stated that they have difficulty getting enough water time.

Carroll said she will submit a letter to the editor in the River Current about the Interest group and importance of swim instruction for valley residents.

A small donation for room use was collected.