Ground broken on long-awaited Northridge pool

first_img Baker added that the renovation will be particularly welcome because the pool, which is visible to drivers along Reseda Boulevard, is one of the last large reminders of the devastating Northridge Earthquake of 1994. The Northridge site is one of six shuttered municipal pools, while another 24 are in very poor condition, according to a recent audit by Controller Laura Chick. Nearby in Canoga Park, Councilman Dennis Zine has been searching for the funds needed to reopen the Lanark Park pool by mid-2007. The diverse funding model used in Northridge, as well as the dual-pool design, will probably become a model for renovating the rest of the city’s pools, Drucker said. Such progress would be welcome news to David Lamon, who was at Northridge Park on Thursday with two of his younger children. When Lamon’s older daughter went to the Kamp Kaleidoscope day camp there, she had to take the bus to reach a pool, he said. “It’ll be nice if these kids go to Kamp Kaleidoscope or anything like that, they won’t have to take the bus,” he said. “They’ll get more time to swim.” Northridge resident Sandra Rangel, who brings her three children to the park every day, said she has long hoped the pool would reopen. “I want to take my son to swim classes,” she said. Dan Laidman, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! After years of financial wrangling and false starts, construction of a new $5.8 million Northridge swimming pool officially broke ground Thursday, with civic leaders saying the project symbolizes the San Fernando Valley’s rising fortunes at City Hall. City leaders expect the renovated aquatic center to open in September 2007, eight years after it closed because of structural damage from the Northridge Earthquake. “During the secession fight a couple years back, one of the real symbols of the city of Los Angeles’ inability to take care of the Valley was this pool,” Councilman Greig Smith said. The pool closed in 1999 – a year in which 16,538 people used it – and neighbors soon began agitating for its renovation. But difficulties in finding funding stalled the project. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant In 2004, Smith announced he had arranged for almost $5 million in funding, but the effort was soon stymied. “We got hit with a major construction cost increase the last year and a half because of the general economy,” said Neil Drucker, program manager for the Proposition K – LA for Kids Program within the city’s Department of Public Works. Ultimately Smith drew the necessary funds through a mix of Proposition K and Proposition 40 dollars, seismic bonds and contributions from the city general fund, private donors and other sources. The city now plans to demolish the existing poolhouses and replace them with more spacious changing areas designed to accommodate families. The pool will be bifurcated into a large lap pool and a shallow one. “It’s going to be one of the few pools in Los Angeles that’s accessible for both young kids and handicapped people,” said Thomas Baker, a board member of the Northridge East Neighborhood Council. last_img

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