December 11, 2017
The WCAF would like to wish our aquatic friends and families a happy holiday season!
As 2017 ends we regret that the hope of partnering with the City of Walnut Creek to build a new and improved swim center at Heather Farm is once again on hold.
In November, City Council directed staff to develop a work program in 2018 for the master planning of Civic and Heather Farm Parks with a particular focus on the renovation or replacement of four facilities (Clarke Swim Center, Heather Farm Community Center, Civic Park Community Center, and the Shadelands Art Center). This process will include the formation of a community task force to provide input on community priorities and support for renovating these facilities as well as to assist in identifying potential funding options.
It is noteworthy that while resources are not currently available to rebuild the swim center, the City has stated that maintenance of the Clarke Swim Center should not be deferred while it works toward a long-term solution. This is significant because the Clarke Swim Center was shut down for one week in November due to a pump failure.
Director of Arts & Recreation Kevin Safine told WCAF, “City staff prioritized the repair of the pump and filtration system and allocated funds to make these improvements in 2018.” He added, “Many of Clarke’s other needed repairs have been deferred over the past several years in the hopes that a new facility would be built. Even in the best case, Clarke will not be rebuilt for several years, so as part of the City Council budget process that begins in January staff will propose several capital projects necessary to keep the facility operational in 2018 and beyond. Support for these projects will be greatly appreciated.”
The WCAF understands that maintenance is not the desired scenario but it is far better than losing the facility to a system failure. We will be monitoring developments and will continue to advocate in the short-term for needed repairs to keep Clarke open while making it clear that in the long-term our community supports a new and improved swim center.
If you are interested in becoming more involved in the WCAF, we have openings on our board of directors. To learn more, please email our Vice President, Andrea Kelly Smethurst, at email@example.com.
If you would like to donate to the WCAF, we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your donations are welcome. Checks payable to the Walnut Creek Aquatic Foundation may be sent to P.O. Box 5405, Walnut Creek, California 94596.
Thank you for your support of aquatics!
Mike Heaney, Walnut Creek Aquatic Foundation President