Who We Are
The Tukwila Pool facility located at 4414 S. 144th Street was built in 1973 as part of the King County “Forward Thrust” project that placed community parks and pools all around the area. The South Park Pool (as it was originally called) was owned by King County and built on Tukwila School District property with the understanding that the pool would serve the youth of Tukwila by providing an easily accessible resource.
In 2003, the City of Tukwila took ownership of the pool in exchange for the South Park Bridge and an arrangement was made to continue leasing the land it sits on from the Tukwila School District. Unfortunately, economic issues forced the City of Tukwila to consider closing the pool just a few years later. In response, a group of citizens banded together to form “Save Tukwila Pool” and they put a ballot measure before Tukwila voters in 2011 proposing the formation of a new entity to own and operate the pool. Tukwila voters decided in favor of the measure and the Tukwila Pool Metropolitan Park District was established in September of 2011.
The Tukwila Pool Metropolitan Park District is not a private or non-profit organization. It’s what’s known as a Special Purpose District, which means it is a publicly owned government entity funded by residents and businesses within the district boundaries through property taxes. The voter-approved annual tax (known as a levy) supporting the Tukwila Pool Metropolitan Park District is .15¢ for every $1000 of a property’s value. For example, the owners of a property in Tukwila valued at $100,000 would pay a tax of $15 per year toward the Tukwila Pool Metropolitan Park District. Property owners who rent or lease spaces to others include property taxes when calculating their costs, so every resident or business-operator in Tukwila, whether they own or rent, is paying the levy to support the pool. When the Tukwila Pool Metropolitan Park District was first formed, the original ballot measure established the Tukwila City Council as the “ex officio” Board of Commissioners for the district. This meant they would provide governance for the Tukwila Pool Metropolitan Park District as one of the many responsibilities of their official role as City Council members. In turn, the Board contracted with the City of Tukwila to completely operate and manage the pool as well has provide administrative support. The Board also appointed a citizen’s advisory group, called the Tukwila Pool Advisory Committee (TPAC) and hired an Executive Director to carry out the work of the Board of Commissioners and manage the District. In mid-2014 the City of Tukwila announced their intention to withdraw from operational management of the pool and the Board of Commissioners voted to self-operate instead of hiring another contractor.
In January 2015, the Tukwila Pool Metropolitan Park District took over direct management of the Tukwila Pool for the first time. In preparation for this, the Tukwila Pool Metropolitan Park District hired its own staff to run the pool and provide administrative support that had previously been contracted out to the City, such as IT, human resources, records management, and financial operations.
In 2015, another ballot measure was put before the citizens of Tukwila asking if voters wanted an elected Board of Commissioners instead of the “ex officio” Board made up of Tukwila City Council members. Again, the voters supported the change and in December 2015 an independently elected 5-member Board of Commissioners began governing the Tukwila Pool Metropolitan Park District.
The current Tukwila Pool facility is over 40 years old and the new Board of Commissioners have prioritized the long-term financial health of the district to ensure that Tukwila residents will have a pool for generations to come. Currently, about 80% of the Budget comes from the levy and the other 20% will come from fees collected through swimming lessons, facility rentals and other general uses. Publicly funded pools need to do more now than ever to remain a valued and vital resource in the eyes of the community. But because drowning is still the second-leading cause of death for young people from one-year-old to 17-years-old in Washington State, our need for a local, accessible, public pool will never end.
To provide a welcoming public aquatics facility managed in a fiscally-responsible manner with a focus on educating all ages in the lifelong skills of water safety. We carry out this mission with a Board and staff who are compassionate, inclusive, and responsive to the needs of our diverse community, working to foster positive and lifelong experiences with aquatic environments.
Contributing to the quality of life for our community, and for future generations, through welcoming, fun, safe and positive aquatic experiences at the Tukwila Pool MPD.
…a safe, inclusive, caring public resource that is integrated into the fabric of our community
…educating all ages of our community in the lifelong skills of swimming and water safety
…integrity and maintaining the highest ethical standards by communicating honestly and transparently
…treating everyone with respect and embracing diverse opinions
…conducting our business and maintaining our facility in a fiscally responsible manner that
ensures the community can depend on aquatics as an available resource for generations to come
…creative, affordable and fun programming that is responsive to the community’s needs and
contributes to the overall health and wellness of the community
…a spirit of collaboration and innovation when working with others to enhance services
available for our community members
…our amazing volunteers
…citizens of Tukwila whose support allows every resident and staff member to feel a sense of
ownership of the pool