Tacoma’s first wave pool has taken over for Tacoma’s only 50-meter pool.
But one group hasn’t given up the fight for Titlow Pool, which closed after last summer.
The Titlow Alliance Group has drafted a plan to keep the 50-meter pool open as a partnership between the group and MetroParks Tacoma.
Under the proposal Titlow Pool would be used for swim team training, water-polo training, competitions, public use and day camps. Backers say the pool could cover its costs from swim competitions alone.
Now that the proposal has been submitted, all supporters need is the Park Board to listen to them, said Bryan Murdach, the group’s spokesman. However, he said, the board is “refusing to entertain the thought of keeping (Titlow Pool) open.”
“It’s not looking good, but we’re continuing the fight,” he said.
Replacing Titlow Pool would have brought its share of setbacks. For example, during the planning phase, MetroParks found that reconstruction would draw higher mitigation costs because of Titlow’s designation as a wetlands, spokeswoman Nancy Johnson said.
Titlow is a critical salmon habitat and the improvement of the area, including more parking, could compromise the habitat, Johnson said.
Titlow’s replacement at Kandle is more for recreation than competition, and the Titlow backers believe Tacoma needs a competition-size pool, like Titlow.
Instead of renovating the 50-meter, 10-lane pool at Titlow, MetroParks went in the direction of a recreational pool at Kandle Park. This leaves Tacoma without a competition-style outdoor pool, something the Titlow backers believe the city needs.
Murdach said the recreational direction Metro Parks has taken, with wave pools and spray parks, deprives the city of a unique swimming experience.
“We’re just losing a jewel,” he said. “How many spray parks do we need?”