Without kids at home, I gave up my family YMCA membership some time ago. I’m a swimmer, but that pool with the low ceiling in Everett’s old Y was so closed-in and gloomy I preferred the city’s Forest Park Swim Center.
Opened in 1976, that pool has a rustic, high-beamed ceiling. Its windows let in light and a view of the park outside.
Now, though, I have swimmer’s envy when I drive past the new state-of-the-art YMCA on Everett’s Colby Avenue. I’m not a Y member, but there’s good news.
No membership is needed for Everett residents wanting to take a dip at the new Y, thanks to a partnership the organization has with the city. Swimming for nonmembers is an opportunity the community may have overlooked in all the hoopla surrounding the Dec. 1 opening of the multistory 60,000-square-foot Y building.
The YMCA of Snohomish County purchased the site at 4730 Colby Ave. for more than $3 million from the Everett School District, which once had its headquarters there.
With winter weather here and schools out for the holidays, it’s a fine time to try the new $33 million Y’s aquatic facilities. For serious swimmers, a 25-yard lap pool offers plenty of room with six lanes. A separate recreation pool includes a lazy river, where people can walk or swim with or against a current. For young children, a zero-entrance “beach” area has fountains and other colorful water features.
Pool-only fees for Everett residents are $4.50 or $5.50, depending on age, or $16 for families. Nonmember swimmers must have proof of residency, photo ID and a background check, which can be done in advance at the Y’s front desk or Forest Park.
Kimberly Shelton, Everett’s assistant director of Parks & Community Services, explained the partnership. “The city is donating $2.5 million to the YMCA over the next several years from a Parks fund. This is in exchange for a 1-acre park and Everett resident pool access,” Shelton said by email Thursday. “The fees we collect for Everett resident pool access will go back into the same Parks fund.”
The yet-to-be-named 1.2-acre park, part of the former school district property, is just south of the new Y building.
Swim teams from Everett and Cascade high schools now use the new pool for practice, and starting next fall the meets will be there, said Janette Parent, aquatics director at the Everett Y. The lap pool bears the name of a generous donor, the Floyd and Delores Jones Foundation.
The late philanthropists, who had homes in Seattle and on Camano Island, supported many charities. A $10 million gift from the foundation helped build the Stanwood-Camano YMCA. A successful stockbroker, Floyd Jones was 90 when he died in 2018. His wife died in 2005.
Shelton said the city expects to keep the Forest Park Swim Center open. “We anticipate needing more than one publicly accessible swimming pool as the Everett population grows,” she said, adding that the city continues to invest in upgrades at the Forest Park pool.
Along with new electrical, pumps and automated systems, the city “put in a beautiful glass wall to separate the pool and the lobby,” Shelton said. Computers installed at the front desk now let the public register for parks programs at the swim center.
Proof of residency isn’t required to use the Forest Park Swim Center, where fees are $4.25 to $5, or $12 for a family. It has amenities the Everett Y’s pools don’t have. The Forest Park pool is deep enough for a diving board. And to fly like Tarzan, swimmers line up to try its rope swing.
The city may see fewer people at Forest Park for open swim sessions, Shelton said, but the hope is “to remain the go-to pool for swim lessons and pool parties.”
On Thursday, Sheldon Frye and his wife, Saeko Frye, were at the Everett Y swimming with 4-year-old Emma and 2-year-old Odin, two of their three children. The Everett dad likes the new Y’s “open concept,” where parents in a pool or the hot tub can see their children playing in the recreation pool. He also appreciates the zero-entry access, “so kids don’t have to jump.”
Natalya Simon had just finished her swim in the uncrowded lap pool. She used to do daily laps in the old Y pool.
“This is so different,” she said. “It’s gorgeous.”
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; email@example.com.
Swim in Everett
With a partnership between the Everett Family YMCA and the city, two indoor swimming facilities are open in Everett with no Y membership required.
Everett’s Forest Park Swim Center, 802 E. Mukilteo Blvd., is open to city residents and nonresidents. Cost: $5 for adults; $4.25 for youth 17 and younger, seniors 62 and older, and those with special needs; $12 for family. Information: https://everettwa.gov/738/Aquatics
The Everett Family YMCA, 4730 Colby Ave., has a lap pool, a recreation pool with “beach-entry,” and a lazy river. Open to Y members and all Everett residents (proof of residency required). Everett resident pool-only cost: $5.50 for adults; $4.50 for youth 18 and younger, seniors 65 and older; $16 for family. Photo ID and background check needed. Information: https://ymca-snoco.org/our-locations/everett-ymca/swimming
YMCA of Snohomish County day passes: $5 for youth, $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $25 for family