The City of Long Beach just issued this statement with respect to the future of the Belmont Plaza Pool and its immediate use or lack thereof. Please tell us what you hope to see done, and any other comments.
The City of Long Beach announced today that the Belmont Pool must be permanently shuttered to ensure the safety of the community.
On January 10, 2013 the Belmont Pool was temporarily closed due to a draft Structural and Seismic Evaluation that indicated the facility was seismically unsafe in the event of a moderate earthquake. The pool was temporarily closed in an abundance of caution for patrons and staff while City engineers reviewed the draft analysis and inspected the facility to confirm the extent of its structural safety.
Both the City’s Building Official and the City Engineer have now reviewed the final report and determined the Belmont Pool Natatorium, in its current condition, is a substandard building that is seismically and structurally unsafe.
After considerable discussion and public input dating back to 2008, City staff will be recommending to the City Council a new permanent facility that balances both recreational and competitive swimming needs.
The proposed facility would include a Natatorium in the approximate location of the existing Belmont Pool, and a new outdoor pool immediately north of the existing facility. The proposed facility will be able to host all competitive swim and water polo events that are currently hosted, while providing added water space to enhance the experience of all users. The preliminary cost estimate is $54 to $62 million, depending on added features, and construction will take approximately two to three years to complete.
At the February 12, 2013 City Council meeting, staff will present the proposed project and seek the City Council’s direction on whether to proceed with the entitlement phase and environmental clearance of the project.
On February 12, City staff will also be presenting the City Council with four interim options to address the closure of the Belmont Pool. City staff are recommending the construction of a temporary outdoor pool in the adjacent parking lot that could be ready in five to eight months, contingent upon Coastal Commission approval, and provide swimming facilities while a permanent facility is constructed. The cost of this option is approximately $4.2 million, and the temporary facility would be similar to the facility built during the 2004 Olympic swim trials in Downtown Long Beach.
More information on the temporary options and the proposed project can be found at www.longbeach.gov/cityclerk under the February 12, 2013 City Council agenda.