COMMUNITY COMMENTARY:

As the head aquatics coach at Crescenta Valley High School, I would recommend that the council opt in favor of a larger design (“Council backs less expensive pool options,” Nov. 26).

From my experience, a six-lane pool is a tremendous waste of resources. If a pool is going to be built at Pacific Park, it should be designed to meet the aquatic needs of the entire city. A six-lane pool may be useful for a health club with private membership, but it will never be sufficient for community use.

The high school aquatics programs in Glendale have made great strides in improvement and achievement. Just this fall season, the three boys’ water polo teams finished first, second, and third in the Pacific League. All three teams went onto CIF playoff victories, with Crescenta Valley winning the CIF championship. Glendale, Hoover and Crescenta Valley represent three of the eight teams in the Pacific League.

It is a shame that the three top teams must travel to Burbank to compete for the swimming and water polo championships because Glendale does not have adequate facilities.

CIF has size and depth requirements for competition in the playoffs. None of the pools in the Glendale district meets these minimum requirements. Each team must pay or arrange accommodations at other schools to compete.

Just this season, our team at Crescenta Valley will have paid more than $1,200 to Pasadena City College to compete in a CIF regulation pool. This was the cost of only three games. Also, this was money that the team had to raise on its own through fundraising, not money provided by the school district.

The pool needs to be as large as possible to accommodate the needs of the community. In order to put in the shallow areas or wading areas desired for youth swim lessons, the pool may need to be larger than eight lanes.

The design at Pasadena City College was very well-thought-out and meets the needs of disabled, elderly and youth aquatics. Its design could be copied for Glendale’s new city pool.

A six-lane pool is extremely limiting. Only about 20 swimmers could use it for training at a time. It would be useless for water polo. Very few swim lessons could be conducted simultaneously. Water aerobics class sizes would need to be kept small.

A six-lane pool is essentially an oversized backyard pool with very limited usefulness. Money spent on a six-lane pool is money wasted. A larger pool would allow for greater revenue recovery options.


 JAN SAKONJU is the head boys’ aquatics coach at Crescenta Valley High School.

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