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Verdugo Pool Closed Permanently : Worsening Decay, Decreased Use Made Repair Unfeasible

June 11, 1987|ROBERT D. DAVILA | Times Staff Writer

The half-century-old Verdugo Swim Stadium, which in recent years made less of a splash with swimmers, has been closed permanently because of extensive deterioration, Glendale officials said.

"It's just too far gone to fix it," said Nello Iacono, assistant director of parks and recreation.

The pool leaked 2,000 gallons of water daily through cracks and faulty pipes during past summers and had to be refilled constantly.

An investigation revealed decay in the pool's physical structure, decking and pool house, officials said.

Repairs would cost $1.5 million, Iacono said Tuesday. "That's just not a practical way to go, in light of all the other pools available to the public," he said.

Attendance Decreased

The outdoor pool at 1401 N. Verdugo Road is the only 50-meter facility in Glendale. It operated for only 12 weeks each summer since it was completed in 1938 along with the adjoining Civic Auditorium.

Although the pool was open last year, the city marked it for demolition more than two years ago because of worsening decay. Meanwhile, attendance decreased as schools and private homeowners built their own pools.

Iacono said alternative uses for the pool include filling and paving over the pool for more auditorium parking and building a mini-conference center or meeting hall. The Mission-style facade of the pool house would be retained to tie any new building to the design of the auditorium, he said.

Officials are studying the pool site in conjunction with plans to renovate or rebuild the Civic Auditorium. In April, the City Council heard parks department proposals to spend $3.8 million to renovate the auditorium alone; $5 million to renovate the structure and add other facilities, or as much as $20 million to build a new convention center and parking garage.

9 Other Pools in Area

A study of the auditorium by EdCon, a Thousand Oaks consulting firm, also concluded that the nine other Glendale-area public pools are adequate to meet summer swimming needs, Iacono said.

The only remaining municipal pool is at Pacific Park, 501 S. Pacific Ave. The outdoor pool operates for only 12 weeks in the summer and will open June 22.

However, the YMCA operates pools at Glendale, Hoover and Crescenta Valley high schools during the summer under contract with the Glendale Unified School District.

The Glendale YMCA also operates two indoor pools year-round at 140 N. Louise St. and an outdoor pool at 1755 W. Glenoaks Blvd. Non-members may use them during certain hours.

Barbara Van Der Kolk, YMCA program secretary, predicted that the closing of Verdugo Swim Stadium would increase demand at YMCA pools.

"Oh, you bet. It will be pretty hectic around here," she said. "If we had another outdoor pool going, there's no doubt we could keep it busy.

Interest Rising

"The interest in swimming is definitely increasing all the time," Van Der Kolk said. "We're getting more youths in here, and more people are realizing that swimming is a good fitness activity."

The Crescenta-Canada YMCA operates year-round an indoor pool open to non-members at 1930 Foothill Blvd. in La Canada. Non-members are restricted to certain hours.

The pools "generally stay pretty full during the summer," said Sal Massaro, YMCA membership assistant.

The Glendale YWCA operates an indoor pool year-round at 735 E. Lexington Drive. The facility is open to non-members at all hours.

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