Glendale Unified has given final approval to the design of a new aquatic center at Glendale High School that features a pool three times the size of the current facility and that will accommodate hundreds of visitors.
The Glendale Unified school board approved the design last week, with plans to break ground on the $11-million project in about a year.
At 54 meters by 25 yards, the new pool will accommodate teams from all three of the district's main high schools and allow for three water polo practices to occur at once, or two swim meets at the same time.
The pool will also meet NCAA regulations, allowing colleges to potentially host events at Glendale High, said Mark Gelsinger, an architect with KPI Architects Inc., the firm behind the design.
Coaches would be able to set up 19 swimming lanes from east to west or nine lanes from north to south.
"You can brag that you have a state-of-the-art facility, but then the bottom line is, you're accommodating three times as many students as you would the typical 30-meter pool," Gelsinger told the school board.
The project will be paid for with $9.4 million in state matching grant funds that must be spent at Glendale High and an additional $1.6 million in Measure S money.
"It's simply one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities," said school board member Mary Boger. "We can't let it slip through our fingers."
Other accommodations surrounding the pool will need to be made, such as re-configuring Glendale High's softball field by turning it slightly to avoid the field being too close to the pool, Gelsinger said.
But the softball field will benefit from a new backstop, dugout and bullpen KPI Architects have incorporated into the design.
Glendale High's baseball field will also gain a chain-link fence to clearly define its outfield.
A fire lane with a new fire hydrant will also wind its way around part of the aquatic center and a new plaza will have visitors walk through an area shaded by trees after leaving the parking lot and entering the pool area.
The pool will also feature separate bathrooms for students and visiting adults, offices for all three high schools' swim and water polo teams, and locker rooms for home and visiting teams.
School officials are still in the midst of deciding on other facets of the pool, such as its floor and walls.
The pool could feature stainless steel instead of concrete or tile, said Alan Reising, administrator of facilities for the district.
The stainless steel would not require as many chemicals in the pool, which can be costly to keep up adequate maintenance.
"It looks like a very good opportunity for us to apply that technology here to save us a lot of ongoing costs," he said.
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