Photo from Evergreenpool.org

Photo from Evergreenpool.org

By: Walker Orenstein – The Seattle Times

July 30, 2015

A nonprofit group saved the Evergreen Community Aquatic Center after it closed in 2009, making it a rare public nonprofit pool in King County. The red-brick pool has some financial challenges, but has reversed course to outlast its intended 40-year life span.

Jose Devine fiddled with a backward flat-brimmed cap while dutifully watching his 10-year-old cousin learn to swim at the Evergreen Community Aquatic Center in White Center.

Devine, 18, reminisced about summers spent there in his younger days, when people would scatter quarters and dimes around the bottom of the pool as part of a childhood game.

“We would go down and pick them up,” he said, adding lightheartedly that the pool’s rules are a tad stricter these days.

The red-brick, single-use pool once seemed destined to remain only a memory to Devine and others who used it for decades. Opened in 1970 by King County, the pool closed in 2009 during the Great Recession, when funding from a 40-year “Forward Thrust” bond that paid for numerous parks and recreation facilities expired. But in 2010, an unexpected helping hand stepped in and turned the aging and expensive pool around.

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