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Go big with city hall, convention center and aquatic center | Letter
I am responding to your paper's recent article about the proposed new Kirkland aquatic center.
I fully support the building of an aquatic center at the site on Northeast 124 Street. This location provides easy freeway access for those coming into Kirkland to use the facility. It offers services such as hotels and food nearby, as well. This is the best choice. But I will add that the vision should be larger. I would be willing to vote for a bond that includes the aquatic center as part of a larger vision. A larger vision that includes a convention center and a relocated city hall.
I believe that the city of Kirkland facilities need to expand north into Totem Lake and Juanita. I feel that an aquatic center at the North Kirkland Community Center site is a first step towards developing Kirkland. The other two projects would include moving city hall to a freeway accessible site in Totem Lake, as well as a small convention center. This would, in my mind, be located on the east side of I-405 on the same Northeast 124 Street corridor. The connection via the Cross Kirkland Corridor to downtown and Houghton, as well as trails and its proximity to two transit centers, just makes a lot of sense to me.
Yes, this is a big dream but I'm saying I would support it and be willing to pay for it. Totem Lake needs to be the seat of governance for the city. The courts and public safety center are going to be in the same area, why not city hall, a convention center and an aquatic center? It would be a link through the heart of the city with a pedestrian-friendly walkway. This would truly remake Kirkland in a very positive way.
For an example of what scale I'm referring to, you only have to think of where my son lives in Lynnwood. In Lynnwood, all of these things are within one mile of each other. And by the way, my grand kids love that pool. I hope our pool will have a play area like their's.
John Truman, Kirkland