The Belmont Pool was closed Thursday after a structural assessment preliminarily found that the building and facility would not be safe in a moderate earthquake, the City of Long Beach announced.
The popular pool, used six days a week by lap swimmers, swim students, swim and dive teams, will be closed "in an abundance of caution" for the safety of staff and patrons for "approximately three weeks," the announcement states.
The closure impacts only the indoor pool, the alert from the Long Beach City Manager's office states. While the long-term outcome of the engineering analysis is unclear. Nor was it immediately clear whether the current engineering assessment is related to the rehabilitation project in 2012 that shut the pool to the public.
Each year, the heavily used indoor pools are closed for a few weeks in September for annual maintenance. But following a longer September resurfacing closure in 2011, the building was reopened only to be reclosed in mid-December; it remained under repair and renovation until March, 2012.
Below is the full press release:
The Belmont Plaza Pool will be temporarily closed, effective today, due to a draft structural analysis that concludes the facility is seismically unsafe in the event of a moderate earthquake.
The City is acting in an abundance of caution for patrons and staff while City engineers review the draft analysis and inspect the facility to confirm the extent of its structural safety.
The temporary closure is expected to last approximately three weeks, and will only affect the indoor pool facility. After the review and inspections are complete, a decision will be made to reopen or keep the pool closed. The outdoor pools, locker rooms, and adjacent La Palapa Del-Mar restaurant will remain open at this time.
City staff is working with the aquatics community to minimize disruptions and help to identify alternative options and facilities.
The seismic issue recently came to light as a result of the analysis currently underway related to the revitalization plan for the entire pool complex, which opened in August 1968. The City Council authorized staff to develop options to modernize the existing pool complex.
Within 30 days City staff will present the City Council with long-term revitalization options that may include temporary solutions to restore pool access.