Frequently Asked Questions

Are the pools public pools?
Photo of instructor with studentThe pools are owned and operated by Northwest Center and are open to the public. No membership is required.

Are the pools Olympic sized?
The pools are 40 yards long with a bulkhead at 25 yards, which constitutes the distance required for high school events, and United States Swimming short course distance.

Do the pools have diving boards?
Each pool has at least one, 1-meter diving board.

What is the water temperature?
Pools average 85 Degrees F, plus or minus one degree.

Are the pools chlorinated?
Yes, the pools use liquid chlorine to disinfect the water.

Instructor with childHow do I sign my kids up for swimming lessons?
Call or stop by the pool, and our staff can help you identify the appropriate class. If your child can swim, has had lessons at another pool, or has been out of lessons for more than six months, we do a simple placement test during any of our Public or Family Swims, or by appointment.

Why do we have to fill out a Liability Waiver for swimming lessons?
Northwest Center requires all lesson participants to have a waiver for every participant for every lesson registered. It is required by our insurance carrier.

What is the policy for inclement weather?
The local school district is used as a guideline; however, please call and check the voicemail. Messages will be updated based on the weather conditions.

What age is considered a “senior”?

Boy jumping into pool with lifejacket onDoes the city own the pool?
Northwest Center owns the Mercer Island, Northshore and Redmond Pools.

How can I donate money to the pool?
Talk to the pool staff and they can help direct you on areas where you can help.

Can I donate re-usable clothing and household goods at the pools?
Most of the pools have clothing donation bins that accept re-usable clothing benefiting Northwest Center. For more information on donating other items, visit or call 800-992-2060. 

Do the pools sell caps, goggles, swim fins and bathing suits?
The pools sell swim caps, goggles, swim fins and toys at the front counter.

Can I rent the pool for a party?
Yes, the pool is available for rental on weekends for private parties. Pool staff can set up a pool party with pizza, movie rentals and music.

Photo of instructor with three studentsWhat kind of family activities does the pool offer?
The pools are open regularly for family swim (mostly parents and children) and public swims (good time for kids to come and play).
Pools offer Movie Nights once per month. Cost is $14.00 for a family of 5.

What age ranges are allowed to swim at the pool?
Pools are open for all ages. The American Red Cross recommends that swimmers be at least six months old prior to starting swimming. Swim diapers are required for children that are not potty trained. Children under 6 or less than 3’6” tall are required to have an adult in the water swimming with them.

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