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Council looks to pool its resources

Options for aquatic facilities at Verdugo and McCambridge parks would cost a total of about $16 million.

June 24, 2009|By Christopher Cadelago

CITY HALL — Parks officials on Tuesday presented four options for replacing swimming pools at Verdugo and McCambridge parks totaling some $16 million as the City Council explores an expanded aquatics season.

Options for Verdugo range from $7.33 million to $6.1 million, with an additional $3.7-million option to permanently or temporarily enclose a portion of the facility. Option A calls for a 50-meter swimming pool, 2,800-square-foot activity pool and complete remodel of the existing bathhouse building. Option B includes a 25-meter lap pool and 3,300-square-foot activity pool, said Nachi Madhavan, of Jones & Madhavan Architecture Engineering.

“The main difference is you are losing the long course,” Madhavan said. “What you’re losing is the ability for an outside group, like a master’s swim group, which the city doesn’t have right now.”

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Both sketches of the facility options included a series of water slides.

All five council members expressed early support for the larger pool at Verdugo.

Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department officials and project consultants hosted a slew of public meetings to gather input on the options, which include new components to accommodate both recreational and competitive uses in addition to the restoration, Madhavan said.

Both options at McCambridge would set the city back $8.54 million, with an option for a $3.22-million enclosure. In both cases, the lap pool is 25 yards by 60 feet, and the activity pool features misting machines and a beach-like entrance ramp.

Originally constructed in 1948, the swimming pool at Verdugo was closed last year after excessive damage caused water losses of 12,000 gallons per day from unidentified sources.

The 54-year-old facility at McCambridge sustained less cracking, but still cost the city $219,019 to repair after a magnitude 3.5 earthquake hit in August, said Marisa Garcia, deputy director of recreation services for the city’s Park, Recreation and Community Services Department.

“That’s kind of an ace bandage,” she said. “It gives us five to seven years.”

The winter off-season afforded city executives and consultants the time to conduct three site visits. It was then that they found 16 problem areas at Verdugo, ranging from major water losses to the chlorine and acid being stored six feet apart instead of the required 20.

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