Assuming we can trust estimations coming out of City Hall this week, swimmers will be able to test the water at the renovated Verdugo Park pool in early June. Or maybe it will be July, August or sometime next year.
We only half jest. It is obvious from a visit to the park these days that the long-awaited reopening can't be too far off. The pool appears finished to us. Enticing play equipment and sunshades are in place. New locker rooms, restrooms and offices are ready for visitors. Now all we're apparently awaiting for are nods of approval from state and L.A. County health and safety agencies.
Originally constructed in 1948, the Verdugo pool served the community very well — including a stint as a training site for the 1984 Olympics — until it was closed five years ago. Its age was showing; structural and mechanical problems had to be addressed. But who knew it would take so long?
Apparently no one. A projected date for its reopening would be given, then rescinded. This happened again and again. It all began to have a certain rhythm to it, not dissimilar to a measured stroke across a 50-meter expanse of water. But it began to seem we'd never touch the wall.
At last, it appears our time may be near. The City Council this week agreed to keep the facility open for 11 months of the year as a pilot program, so they surely must be feeling confident we'll be diving in soon. Still, we're not holding our breath; we won't believe it until we enjoy our first refreshing splash.