State eyes June construction for state park bathhouse

March 18, 2014

Lake Sammamish State Park will receive its Sunset Beach Bathhouse this year, officials said.

Park Manager Richard Benson said plans outlined in 2007 might finally see the light of day with the help of funding secured in last year’s legislative session.

“Apparently, bids will go out around April 1 with construction beginning early enough to have substantial progress by June 13,” Benson wrote in an email. “That really is good news. It will have been 40 years since we have had improvements like this here at the park.”

The bathhouse would offer updated restroom and concession facilities along with space for a future lifeguard program.

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Editorial

March 11, 2014

State park lifeguards worth considering

The park manager at Lake Sammamish State Park is asking Issaquah to consider chipping in for lifeguards at the beaches on Lake Sammamish. The idea is worth considering, but the city must protect its interests.

The state ran a pilot program of placing lifeguards on the beaches in 2007 and 2008. In that time, the number of average daily visitors to guarded beaches rose from about 178 to 267. Considering it sometimes takes time for word to spread of a new program, it’s likely that many of the visitors in the second year heard about lifeguards and made the decision to come to the beach because they knew they and their children would be safe.

If the increase in visitation continues, with a commensurate increase in revenue from fees to enter the park, it would help offset the costs of hiring lifeguards for the swimming season. From a fiscal standpoint, the lifeguards would quickly pay for themselves.

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