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Council to consider a year-round pool

City officials present three options, all costing more than $100,000 and two of which keep aquatic center open only part of year.

January 09, 2008|By Jeremy Oberstein

CITY HALL — Officials with the Park, Recreation and Community Services Department presented three options to the Burbank City Council on Tuesday for a possible year-round aquatic center, filling area swimmers with hope that a Burbank pool might be open all year.

The park and recreation department operates two Olympic-size outdoor swimming pools in Burbank, one at McCambridge Park, the other at Verdugo Park.

The pools at McCambridge and Verdugo are open for summer swimming from June to Labor Day in September.

In 2003, Burbank discontinued a program it ran in partnership with the Burbank Unified School District that offered its pools to swimmers in the winter, effectively shutting out Burbank swimmers in the winter, forcing residents to use parks in other cities, such as Sherman Oaks and Pasadena.

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In an effort to meet the needs of a growing number of swimmers who want to swim all year, three options were presented to the council for expanding the aquatic programs in Burbank.

The first option would keep McCambridge Park’s aquatic center open year-round, 9 months more than its current schedule.

The estimated cost for continuing operations at McCambridge Pool might be significant, said Garth Nelson, deputy director of community services.

“There are significant additional costs relative to the maintenance of pools, such as power costs, electrical costs, chemical costs, and staffing costs,” he said.

Nelson placed the cost of keeping McCambridge open all year at just less than $200,000.

The second choice would keep the McCambridge Pool open for a total of eight months, providing five additional months of swimming at a cost of about $107,000.

The third alternative involves allowing swimming at McCambridge from June to December and would allow aquatic activities programs while the center is closed at either John Burroughs or Burbank high schools from January to May.

The estimated cost for the additional months of operation for choice three would also cost the city about $107,000.

Support for the first option, keeping McCambridge open all year, gained traction among residents who showed up to the meeting to support year-round swimming.

“Burbank is not seen as a dependable place to swim,” Bob Schmitt said. “But we could have swim meets and year-round programs. We need to maximize the use of our pools for all citizens.”

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