Our Town: Washington YMCA to create new aquatic center replacing historic pool

Our Town Washington will close its historic pool as it marks 100 years of operating in the city
Published: Jul. 11, 2023 at 6:43 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, Iowa (KCRG) - It has been almost a Century of splashing and swimming at the Washington YMCA.

“It’s a very old pool. I learned to swim here when I was five years old which is many years ago,” said swimmer Duane Davis who first came to the pool as a child.

He’d come from Crawfordville at least once a week.

“The parents would bring a carload of kids up one day a week to swim.”

Duane’s not the only one.

Generations of people from all around Washington have learned to swim at this indoor pool.

“As a child I took swim lesson here,” explained Amy Schulte, YMCA Washington County Chief Executive Officer.

“The ‘Y’ has had a big impact on almost everyone’s life in Washington.”

It still does, but it won’t be here

The YMCA pool and this building in Washington marks 100 years next year.

That’s a milestone for a community this size.

AMY SCHULTE (42:21): “When this Y was built it was the largest small town YMCA in the world.”

It may not be that anymore, but it still is an integral part of Washington.

ERICA RUSSENACH, YMCA Worker (45:07): “Oh definitely, oh definitely. It brings people together. It gives them opportunities to do things together, to grow together and build those friendships.”

This will now be the new home of all the YMCA.

This new construction will include a six lane regulation length lap pool plus a smaller family pool.

AMY (42:48): “When the new Y was built and we moved the majority of our programs and services over there, it was a sad day.”

So this undersized 99 year old pool has just another year left after being used to teach generations of children how to swim and help generations of adults stay in shape.

DUANE (35:10): “We’ve been very fortunate for a long time.”

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