Main fundraiser photo

Bartlett Block Project

Tax deductible

With the recent success of Alaska swimmer, Lydia Jacoby making the 2021 Olympic team, there is much enthusiasm and talk about all the things the Alaska swim community can do to continue to provide an environment that models and motivates it's swimmers to dream big and achieve their goals. One such way is to provide equipment that not only emulates the higher level of competition but also addresses the safety of our swimmers. Bartlett High School in Anchorage is the only competitive 50 meter Olympic-size pool in Alaska. The existing starting blocks are from the original installation in the 1980’s. They are becoming increasingly unstable, unsafe (frequent swimmer injuries) and are degrading. Shallow-end blocks are currently stabilized with ratchet straps.

In addition to high school and local club swim meets, all long course championship meets and several other state championship meets are held annually at Bartlett High School. New starting blocks would not only benefit Southcentral Alaskan swimmers, but all competitive swimmers in Alaska.

One family that has recognized this dire need and been a driving force behind the project is the Keen family, who is presenting to all of us a Challenge Grant of $10,000 to match dollar for dollar up to $10,000. The Keen family is deeply rooted in the Alaska Swim community – parents James and Mary are often on deck helping as an Official and Head Timer. And all four of their children are or have been swimmers. When tragedy hit their family in the Spring of 2021 with the loss of their beloved Gracie, they established a fund to give back to their community and have chosen this project as one of the beneficiaries.


• New blocks would provide enhanced starting capacities:

o Moveable track start on the top of the block.

o Greater stability and a larger starting platform.

o Vastly improved backstroke starting grips and toe ledge that can be inserted in the water.

o Starting speakers to be permanently installed within each block.

• Integrated LED system will put hearing-disabled swimmers on an equal playing field. A light strip on each block will activate at the start of the race. This is beneficial as Bartlett is often operated in a two 25-yard pool configuration, with concurrent races swam on both ends of the facility.


• All Alaskan long-course championship meets are held at Bartlett, as well as several short course championship meets throughout the year. All swimmers who travel in for these meets will be benefited by improved blocks in the deep end.

• Although we would only be installing blocks in the deep end, we consider this to be an 80% solution because all finals heats of championship meets are started from the deep end.

• Maintaining an up-to-date facility at the largest pool and swimming facility in Alaska is an important part of any long-term strategy to attract regional meets like Zones or Senior Sectionals to Alaska.

• These blocks could be moved to another facility in the unlikely event that Bartlett Pool was closed for any extended period. Although installation would be required at a different facility, the blocks would remain useful and are not a stranded investment.

• The blocks we are seeking to install have already been installed at the Anchorage based Service High School using the same vendor that has provided our quote. This is also the same system employed in Federal Way, Washington. This is proven technology, and the vendor has Alaskan installation experience.

The total cost of this project is anticipated to run slightly over $50,000. We currently have an outstanding proposal for $25,000 and need your help raising $15,000, with the additional $10,000 Challenge Grant support. You can give through this GoFundMe Campaign or mail a check made out to Central Area Swimming, memo: Block Project and mail it to 3705 Arctic Blvd. #2784, Anchorage, Alaska 99503 .

We would appreciate the opportunity to share additional information and answer any questions you may have. Feel free to pose your question to this link and we'll be happy to respond.



  • Summer Cutting
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Michelle Anderson
    • $35 
    • 3 yrs
  • Michael Wirschem
    • $2,000 
    • 3 yrs
  • Annette Vrolyk
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs


Kristin Sholton
Anchorage, AK
Central Area Swimming A Non Profit Corporation
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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