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35 City Pools Reopen Today

June 19, 2004|Stephanie Stassel | Times Staff Writer

Although June is still gloomy, Los Angeles city officials expect a warm reception from swimmers at 35 public pools scheduled to reopen today.

The North Hollywood Pool, closed last summer because of leaky pipes, has been repaired and has a new children's splash area with water-squirting animals, buckets and sprayers to replace the facility's wading pool.

At the Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks Pool, a new building with restrooms, dressing area and showers was added to complement the new pool built two years ago.

Also opening today are the Algin Sutton, Central, Costello, Green Meadows, 109th Street, Ross Snyder, South Park and Van Ness pools in South Los Angeles; Cheviot Hills, Downey, Echo Park wading pool, Griffith in Los Feliz, Highland in Highland Park, Hollywood, Pecan in Boyle Heights, Pan Pacific in the Fairfax district and Lincoln in Lincoln Heights.

Other San Fernando Valley pools operating this summer are Fernangeles in Sun Valley, Granada Hills, Reseda, Ritchie Valens in Pacoima, Sepulveda in Panorama City, Sun Valley, Sylmar, Valley Plaza in North Hollywood, Verdugo Hills in Tujunga and Woodland Hills.

On the Westside, the Mar Vista, Rustic Canyon in Pacific Palisades, Stoner in Sawtelle and Westchester pools will open today, in addition to the Harbor Pool in Wilmington and the Yosemite Pool in Eagle Rock.

Pool admission is $1.50 for adults ages 18 to 64 and free for youths 17 and younger, seniors 65 and older and the disabled. All pools offer swimming lessons at an additional cost, while some locations have specialty programs such as swim teams, water polo and synchronized swimming. The seasonal pools will be open through Labor Day.

Six city pools remain closed, including Northridge and Lanark in the San Fernando Valley, Gaffey in San Pedro, Harvard in South Los Angeles and the indoor Echo pool near downtown. After renovation, the E.G. Roberts Pool in the mid-city area is expected to reopen in August.

Between $150 million and $200 million are needed to repair the city's 59 public pools, said Jane Kolb, spokeswoman for the city's Department of Recreation and Parks. Funding has already been secured for the Northridge, Lanark, Harvard and Echo pools, she added.

Seven of the 35 seasonal pools, in addition to one of the city's 13 year-round pools, are in "imminent danger" of closing, meaning they may not make it through the summer, said Lydia Ritzman, head of the city's aquatics program. Another eight seasonal pools are subject to temporary closures, depending on whether filters and other equipment are working.

"We do everything we can to keep them up and operational.... We want to be able to offer these services," Ritzman said.

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