Construction is underway on a new athletics and kinesiology complex at Orange Coast College.
The Costa Mesa campus broke ground on the complex earlier this month as part of a series of construction and renovation projects set forth in the Vision 2020 Facilities Master Plan approved by the Coast Community College District in 2015.
The complex, which Orange Coast College described as 50,478 square feet west of LeBard Stadium and adjacent to the Adams Avenue parking lot, will include a 65-meter-long (71 yards) competition swimming pool, covered bleachers, a 25-meter-long (27 yards) pool for adapted kinesiology classes, new locker rooms and equipment management space, spaces for cardio, aerobics and athletic training, new offices for swim coaches and offices for instructors in kinesiology, the study of body movements and physical activity.
The construction cost is estimated at $29 million; the overall cost is $36 million, according to OCC spokesman Juan Gutierrez. The project is expected to be completed by fall 2020, Gutierrez said.
“It’s huge for the athletics department,” said Jason Kehler, OCC’s athletics director. “We have our swim and dive teams who have continuously competed for state championships; this now gives us a facility that matches the level of competition that we’ve been producing.”
The most significant part, Gutierrez said, is the replacement of the current pool with facilities “much more useful for competition and adapted kinesiology and something that the community could take advantage of.”
Kehler said the current pool was built in the 1950s and is no longer suitable for swimming or water polo competitions because it isn’t big enough. The new pool is expected to be up to 16 feet deep, while the adapted kinesiology pool will be about 5½ feet deep, Kehler said.
“Our new pool is state of the art and regulation-size, and being able to compete in that pool while also being able to hold instructional classes … opens up the door for more competitions and community programs and a larger facility that can be utilized by our students and our athletes.”
The project will be funded with bond proceeds from Measure M, a college district initiative approved by voters in 2012 for facilities rehabilitation and construction.
“The weather’s been very accommodating,” Gutierrez said. “Every day you see a little more over there. It’s coming along.”