After years of delays and questions of mismanagement, the long-neglected Verdugo Park pool renovation is finally about to get underway. Facing mounting frustrations and scathing public comments, the City of Burbank will host a community meeting on Monday, June 11, at 6 p.m. to update citizens on the status and course of action for the project.
The 50-meter Verdugo Park community pool first opened in 1948 and was used as a training site for the 1984 Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles. Officials closed the pool in 2008, citing numerous structural and safety concerns.
Little information was given to the public following the closure, though expectations were that the pool would reopen within a year or two. In early 2010 the city issued a statement saying the pool would open in the fall of 2011, but by July 2010 it had revised that estimate to summer 2012. It wasn't until October 2010 -- more than two years after the pool's closure -- that the city issued a notice of Development Review and solicited input from the public.
Progress from there was slow, with significant design changes made in early 2011. City officials also claim that the Los Angeles County Health Department took longer than expected completing their required inspections, which caused further delays. As the process dragged on, residents blasted the city for its lack of investment in the project, especially after the city council approved a $2 million bailout package for the struggling DeBell Golf Course in 2011.
On June 30, 2011, final project plans for the Verdugo pool were delivered but the county did not approve them until October 20, 2011. The city was then able to solicit construction bids. Eighteen companies met the February 2012 deadline for submitting bids, and on May 8, 2012 -- four years after the pool was closed -- the city council awarded the construction contract to Novus Construction of Chatsworth, who bid just under $5.2 million for the job.
Construction is expected to begin this month, but the opening of the facility has now been pushed back to April 2013, meaning that residents of western Burbank will once again need to trek to the other side of town, to either the McCambridge Park pool or the Burbank High School pool, if they want to beat the summer heat this year.
Once finished, the new Verdugo Park Aquatic Facility will be a prime destination for Burbank residents looking to cool off or just enjoy some water activities. Highlights of the new project include:
- Complete replacement of the existing 50-meter pool and original bathhouse.
- Construction of an additional 2,800 square foot activity pool with water slides.
- New concessions areas, shade structures and deck equipment.
- Increased number of parking spaces, from 40 to 67.
- New "green" infrastructure, including an upgraded irrigation system that uses reclaimed water, and the installation of power-generating solar panels on the roof.
Residents who would like more information about the project are encouraged to attend the community meeting on Monday, June 11, at 6 p.m. City officials will be set up near the flagpole at the Verdugo Recreation Center, located at 3201 West Verdugo Avenue, to answer any questions and to provide an update on the project.
Anyone with questions or concerns about the Verdugo pool project but who cannot attend the meeting can contact Sean Corrigan, City Engineer, at (818) 238-3804 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see a map of the redesigned Verdugo Park Aquatic Facility, scroll to Page 2 of this PDF document.