New community pool makes a splash

Glendale residents took their first splash Saturday into the new community pool at Pacific Community Park.

The $5.3-million complex at the northwest corner of Pacific Avenue and Riverdale Drive includes a nearly 5,000-square-foot pool with six 25-yard-long swim lanes suitable for high school- and college-level competition. The 4,300-square-foot accompanying building contains locker rooms, family changing rooms and staff work rooms.

The entire project was designed and constructed according to stringent “green” standards, said Peter Vierheilig, project manager with the city’s Community Services and Parks Department.

Shade structures are topped with solar panels that will generate 40% of the energy needed to operate the facility, Vierheilig said, and the toilets and urinals use recycled water.

The pool is open seven days a week between now and Sept. 5. Admission prices vary according to age, but top out at $2. Minors must submit a release form signed by a parent or guardian.

Saturday’s grand opening drew hundreds of people. Brothers Narek and Albert Khachatryan, 6 and 8 years old, respectively, waited impatiently for city dignitaries to finish their speeches so they could hit the water.

“We have never tried a diving board before, so we are pretty excited,” Albert said.

The idea for a pool at Pacific Community Park first came up during city elections in 2005, said Councilman Ara Najarian, an avid swimmer.

“We wanted a place that would have a lot of convenience for neighborhood kids to walk to,” Najarian said. “We didn’t want to have them get in cars and drive….This area is very underserved with parks and athletic facilities for the residents, so it was just a great fit.”

The city started to set aside money from its federal Community Development Block Grant funding and initiated the design process three years ago. The project team went through several configurations while trying to incorporate all the features the community needed, Najarian said.

“We fought over the depth; we fought over whether we should have a diving board or not,” Najarian said.

Construction, which started last year, stayed on schedule.

Najarian, who donned a pair of black swim briefs for the inaugural dive, said it was one of his proudest moments as a councilman.

“They really did a great job,” Najarian said. “They kept it on time and on budget, and here we are. I am hoping it gets great use.”


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