Ground breaking ceremony held for Bethel pool

by Angela Denning-Barnes on May 22, 2013

Bethel Mayor Joe Klejka addresses the crowd. Photo by John Sargent.

Bethel Mayor Joe Klejka addresses the crowd. Photo by John Sargent.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held May 17 for the Bethel swimming pool center. City officials, state lawmakers and long-time swimming pool advocates were present for the occasion. They gathered at the construction site, next to the Yuut Elitnaurviat campus near Pinky’s Park in city subdivision.

They held golden shovels and ceremoniously scooped the first bits of dirt for the project, known as the Yukon Kuskokwim Regional Aquatic Health and Safety Center.

The center will feature two swimming pools, a hot tub, a fitness room and a weight room. The large swimming pool will include six swimming lanes and a water slide. The smaller pool will be shallower for little kids.

Long-time pool advocate Bev Hoffman speaks to the crowd. Photo by John Sargent.

Long-time pool advocate Bev Hoffman speaks to the crowd. Photo by John Sargent.


Nearly 200 pilings were installed this winter. Other building supplies will arrive on the summer barges. The construction plan is to complete the outside of the building this summer and work on the inside over the next winter.

The center is expected to open by the end of October 2014.

The building will be partly run off of power from a wind turbine to be installed nearby.

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