Construction issues delay opening of Newport Beach junior lifeguards headquarters

A rendering of the new Junior Lifeguards building.
A rendering of the new junior lifeguards building. Construction issues are delaying its opening until 2024. It was initially scheduled for completion by Memorial Day weekend.
(Courtesy of the city of Newport Beach)
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The junior lifeguards program will have to go another year without an official headquarters due to construction issues, according to the city of Newport Beach.

The opening of the much-anticipated project will be delayed several months past its expected date of Memorial Day weekend, according to a news release issued Thursday.

City project managers identified issues in the concrete walls of the approximately 5,145-square-foot building, on which construction began last September.


Additional time is needed to rectify the issues in its construction, but that work can’t be done until after the city’s busy tourist season for safety reasons, officials said. The building is now expected to be completed in 2024 and operational by that summer.

“It is unfortunate that the building will not be completed for the 2023 junior lifeguard season,” Graham Harvey, chairman of the Newport Beach Junior Lifeguard Foundation, said in a statement. “However, we are thankful the city is taking measured steps to provide a quality facility for many generations to come. We look forward to the grand opening in 2024.”

The junior lifeguards program, which is considered a rite of passage for many residents, will continue to use the trailer it has operated out of since 1984, according to city spokesman John Pope, who added this year’s season will begin on June 20. About 1,400 youths are signed up to participate.

The project is the result of efforts from the city and the Newport Beach Junior Lifeguard Foundation. The total cost of the project was estimated to be around $7.9 million, and construction delays are not expected to require additional fundraising.

“Although this delay is regrettable, it is necessary to build an excellent facility that will serve our community for decades,” said Newport Beach Mayor Noah Blom in the statement. “We are working with our contractor and fully expect to resolve these issues, resume construction in the fall and celebrate the opening of a world-class facility next year.”