JAC News
             December 19, 2018

          The Voice for Aquatics in Jefferson County

From JAC President, Earll Murman

Dear JAC Supporters,

It has been rewarding to serve as JAC President for the past six years.  We have accomplished a lot with the help of over 70 volunteers, generous donations, and the backing of over 2300 supporters. Six years ago the buzz in the community was that Mountain View Pool (MVP) might close; there was no active plan for replacing it with a modern, two-pool aquatic center.  Today the situation is different.  

Monthly usage at MVP has tripled since 2014 due to significant improvements to the facility, program offerings, staff expertise, and public awareness.  In light of this progress, the JAC board voted to conclude our monthly free Second Sunday Swims – see the accompanying article. Our objective of increasing community awareness about the pool and its benefits for health, wellness and recreation has been achieved.  We thank the City of Port Townsend for investments they continue to make in a pool that serves all of East Jefferson County.

In 2014 JAC joined with the YMCA and Jefferson Healthcare to plan for a full service YMCA including a modern aquatic center. Jeff Randall’s accompanying article provides an update on the YMCA project. Although progress has been made, the goal continues to be elusive. Construction labor and material costs seem to relentlessly increase. Plans for project governance and financing are yet to be developed.  Additionally, the Olympic Peninsula YMCA faces expansion pressures for its Sequim and Port Angeles branches. Maybe 2019 will be the year the project gets the traction needed to succeed.  For now, we are indeed fortunate to have a thriving MVP to serve the community until a modern replacement becomes a reality.

I am pleased to turn the JAC leadership reins over to the 2019 co-presidents Jean Baldwin and Peter Braden who are profiled below. JAC will be taking a breather from our past proactive advocacy for the MVP and involvement with the Y project. You may not hear from us for a while, but we will be keeping abreast of doings at MVP and progress of the pool project.  You can expect us to jump into action and to call on your support and advocacy when appropriate. 

Happy Holidays. I hope to see you at the pool or around town in 2019.
New Leaders To Take JAC's Helm

Starting January 1, 2019, Jean Baldwin and Peter Braden will takeover the leadership of JAC as co-presidents.  Now retired, Jean was director of the Jefferson County Public Health Department and is a regular participant in the 8:00AM water fitness class at Mountain View Pool.  Peter is an elementary school teacher at the new Salish Coast School and also coaches the PT high school girls’ swim team. Both Peter and Jean represent JAC on an advisory task force to the current Y-led project for an aquatic center and full-service YMCA.  (Link to full Bios.)

Many thanks to Earll Murman for six years of great leadership.

Congratulations and Best Wishes to Jean and Peter!!


 YMCA Capital Project Status Report

      by Jeff Randall, Olympic Peninsula YMCA, Project Coordinator

The Olympic Peninsula YMCA and our partners (the city of Port Townsend, the Port Townsend School District, Jefferson Healthcare, and Jefferson County) have worked in 2018 to develop a design and budget for a new Jefferson County YMCA facility at Mountain View Commons.  At the heart of this facility would be a modern two-pool natatorium.  The support of the JeffCo Aquatic Coalition will be very important for this project to become a reality.   

In 2015 the design for a 57,600 s.f. facility at Mountain View was estimated to cost $25 million. A campaign feasibility study prepared by the Collins Group concluded this was beyond the fundraising means of our community. Realizing the need to find cost savings in the project we began by looking at incorporating the existing gymnasium, cafeteria classroom space under the gym, and existing pool building. –  about 20,000 s.f. in space. 

Working with a local architect, we developed a new building design, one that worked with the sloping topography of the site and put the natatorium, locker rooms, and mechanical room down on the grassy field in the lower level of the building.  Above this level would be work-out studios and space for Jefferson Healthcare.  An entrance on the upper level, at grade with the existing parking lot, would link the new building to the existing pool building, which would be converted to a new fitness center, child-watch area, classroom, and office space, once the new pool is built.  The existing gym would remain as well as the space under the gym currently used for Y youth programming.  From meetings with city of Port Townsend staff we learned that overall the existing pool and gym buildings were good candidates for reuse. 

This fall we worked with a cost estimator to determine what the redesigned project would cost. The good news was that reusing the gym and pool buildings made a lot of sense, their cost was approximately half as compared to building new.  The bad news was our overall project cost was still substantially above what we deemed we could afford as a community.

We are now working with the city of Port Townsend to develop a funding strategy that increases the resources we can bring to this project as well as divide up responsibilities for various aspects of the site development plan.  We continue to work with our design team to refine the project, creatively re-use existing buildings where doing so makes sense, reduce the project budget while providing the community a new pool as well as a facility that can be the home to a new membership-based Jefferson YMCA.  

For more information, reach Jeff Randall by phone at 360-301-9019 or email

Second Sunday Swims Conclude

December 9thmarked the end of an era with the final JAC sponsored FREE “Second Sunday Swim.”  When these free swims were inaugurated five years ago, there was very little weekend programming at the Mountain View Pool.  JAC saw the SSS's as an opportunity to increase both access to the pool and community awareness of its existence.  MVP is now open with classes and activities from 10-5 on both Saturday and Sunday; and staff has increased in both numbers and expertise.

Jefferson Healthcare and local businesses, individuals and organizations all stepped up to the plate to cover the expenses of pool rental, staffing and publicity.  The City of Port Townsend, Mountain View Pool, the YMCA, and The Leader all made contributions as well; as did many JAC volunteers.  Over the five years, there were 4,244 recorded SSS participants!!

"The City of Port Townsend and Mountain View Pool would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to JAC for developing the SSS program. MVP is committed to continuing a monthly free swim program for our community and we are exploring several programming options to make this happen in 2019."  Seth Leighton, MVP Manager.


    JeffCo Aquatic Coalition is incorporated in the State of Washington as a non-profit corporation and has federal tax-deductible non-profit status - 501(c)(3).  Donations in any amount are welcome to help maintain our organization. 
JeffCo Aquatic Coalition, PO Box 1730, Port Townsend, WA 98368

Newsletter edited by Rena Murman


JAC Board of Directors

Earll Murman, Pres.

Jean Baldwin, VP 

Peter Braden

Philippa Lance

Rena Murman

Linda Rhines

Kathy Salmonson 

When you meet community leaders, tell them how important the pool is to you.  Your voice is important!


             FREE                SECOND SUNDAY SWIMS


    Thanks to all of our volunteers!!

JeffCo Aquatic Coalition is incorporated in the State of Washington as a non-profit corporation
and has federal tax-deductible non-profit status - 501(c)(3)
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