A broken water pipe flooded the basement of the Mountain View Commons facility in Port Townsend, damaging the boiler room and electrical panels. The City of Port Townsend has since closed the Mountain View pool indefinitely as the building is looking at tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. (City of Port Townsend)

A broken water pipe flooded the basement of the Mountain View Commons facility in Port Townsend, damaging the boiler room and electrical panels. The City of Port Townsend has since closed the Mountain View pool indefinitely as the building is looking at tens of thousands of dollars in repairs. (City of Port Townsend)

Water damage closes Port Townsend pool

Facility repairs estimated to cost $100,000

PORT TOWNSEND — The pool at the Mountain View Commons in Port Townsend is closed until further notice following a water main break. Tens of thousands of dollars are estimated for repairs.

A 2.5-inch pipe burst in the basement of the Mountain View Commons facility on May 29, flooding the boiler room and adjacent electrical panel. City staff eventually shut off the water flow, but not before significant flood damage was done.

The city of Port Townsend said the status of the facility’s boilers and heat is currently unknown, citing water damage. The process for testing or replacing needs to be done in coordination with the city’s insurance provider and systems vendor, the city said in a press release.

The Port Townsend City Council approved City Manager John Mauro’s emergency declaration on Monday, allowing city staff to address the issue. The emergency declaration states $20,000 is currently in the city’s budget for pool repairs, but staff estimate the repairs could cost up to $100,000.

Some may be reimbursed through the city’s insurance.

“The lead time for some of the equipment for the boilers may take some time which could impact the pool as it remains closed,” the declaration said.

Alternative services, including restrooms and internet connections, were provided to other tenants of the Mountain View Commons facility, including the Port Townsend Food Bank, the Olympic Peninsula YMCA and KPTZ, and backup generators have been used to power the building’s fire suppression system.

The Mountain View Commons facility is aging and proposals to potentially replace the pool are currently under deliberation.

Plans for a $37 million replacement facility favored by the city were derailed earlier this year when the Board of Jefferson County Commissioners declined to move forward with a proposed countywide tax to help pay for the project.

A 1o-person task force was put together in March to look at potential alternatives for pool structures, but that group is still in the process of gathering information, said Carrie Hite, Port Townsend’s director of parks and recreation strategy, who sits on the task force.

“The task force has had three meetings and there’s five more to go,” Hite said. “It’s still really early in the process, so they still have some time yet.”

Task force members visited the Shore Aquatic Center in Port Angeles and are planning a visit to Boise, Idaho, to tour a Sprung Structures-built pool. Sprung Structures are high-performance fabric structures that can be erected quickly and cheaply and have been used by companies like Apple and Tesla to house production facilities.

Hite said task force members want to look at alternative construction methods and compare things like air quality and humidity in Sprung Structures versus traditional buildings. The trip is provisionally planned for July 12-13 and will require an overnight stay.

Plane tickets for the trip are estimated to cost $236 per person, according to task force meeting documents.

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached by email at peter.segall@peninsulanews.us.

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