Pacific Park pool approved

CITY HALL — After years of planning and several designs, Glendale will finally get a municipal public pool at Pacific Park after the City Council this week approved the project.

The City Council voted 4 to 1 on Tuesday to approve a $4.1-million contract with Glendale-based George Hopkins Construction Co. to build the long-awaited civic pool, which is expected to be completed in June.

Longtime project advocate Mayor Ara Najarian urged the contractor to meet the tight deadline for completion in June, which city officials said will likely require weekend and nighttime work.

"It doesn't do us any good to finish it in August or September," Community Services & Parks Director George Chapjian said.

Residents have access to pools at some local high schools, but the city has lacked a public municipal pool since one was demolished to make way for the joint city project with Edison Elementary School in 2003.

The Pacific Park pool, which was initially proposed as an eight-lane, competition-ready design, was whittled down to a more basic design because of cost concerns.

The City Council eventually agreed on a $5.3-million, six-lane pool configured into an L shape ranging in depth from 2 feet to 10 feet. They also downsized plans for the pool's associated building.

But even with the pared-down design, Councilman Dave Weaver has consistently voted against the pool because he said he cannot justify the expenditure at a time of severe budget constraints.

On Tuesday, he again voted in opposition, citing the more than $300,000 in funding city officials said would be needed each year to operate the pool from June through August.

"I know a pool is needed. More than one pool is needed in the city," he said. "But I'm just concerned about the cost."

City officials plan to use $1 million originally slated for another parks project for the first three years of operations, Chapjian said.

"Then we will come back to talk about what our needs would be for future years," he said.

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