Before it fell into disrepair, the Brookside Pool was celebrated as a training ground for future Olympians. In 1932, the U.S. Olympic diving trials were held there, giving Pasadenans a close-up view of a local girl, Dorothy Poynton, who would go on that year to win her first of four gold medals in Olympic games spanning 20 years.
That rich history was recounted Tuesday as the Board of City Directors endorsed a partnership between the public and private sectors seeking to renovate the pool complex, which was built in 1923 and closed last year because of disrepair.
The board pledged $50,000 and promised $170,000 more to the Arroyo Seco Aquatics Center, a nonprofit group hoping to raise $1.7 million to refurbish the Brookside Park buildings and grounds and build two additional pools, one of which would meet international competition standards. The city also agreed to apply for a $500,000 state grant on behalf of the project.
For its part, the Arroya Seco Aquatics Center will apply for a grant from the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and appeal to various corporate sponsors for funding.
Mayor William Bogaard called the proposal an “outstanding example of public-private partnership.” He noted that the city’s $220,000 contribution to the project was comparable to the estimated amount needed to simply repair the old pool.
Mark Pisano, a member of the board of the aquatics center, stressed that the renovated complex will provide recreational swimming for the entire community as well serving as a training facility for competitive swimmers and divers.