Belmont Plaza Pool to Close For Good; Replacement Plan in the Works

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 6

February 05th, 2013 News

The ever-famous, and recently infamous, Belmont Plaza Pool has been closed permanently in an announcement Monday by Long Beach city officials. According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, engineers found that the pool was seismically unsafe.

The pool was closed temporarily on January 10th while engineers expected, and their ultimate decision was that the pool couldn’t be reopened.

The Belmont Pool has been a fixture in Southern California since it opened in August of 1968, especially with a modern budget squeeze that has precluded the construction of many indoor pools in recent years. The scramble to find an alternative facility to host the four NCAA conference championship meets that were scheduled to be hosted there, including moving the men’s Pac-12 Championship meet to Seattle.

In the short-term, the city council is exploring several options, though all seem to lend toward completing some sort of replacement. A $4.2 million temporary facility, similar to those used for the 2004 Olympic Trials, is already in planning, with a $54 million-$62 million permanent replacement being a long-term aim. Read more details here on the City Council’s agenda for their February 12th meeting. The cost of making the necessary upgrades to the old Belmont Pool were estimated at $23 million in themselves – roughly 7-times the original cost of the pool’s construction.

The Belmont Plaza “Olympic” pool was so-named as it was the host for the 1968 and 1976 U.S. Olympic swimming trials. Other big meets hosted there include the 1974 and 1978 NCAA Championship meets, and was part of Los Angeles’ bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics as a diving venue.

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Thanks for posting this. Many of us in the aquatic communities of swimming, water polo and diving have been working with the City of Long Beach staff and elected officials as they prepare for the Council meeting on Feb 12. If any of your readers will support us in these efforts, please “Like” our page at http://www.facebook.com/RebuildBelmontPlazaOlympicPool and post your comments/memories about the pool. Or, contact me directly at [email protected] to get on our mailing list for updates.

Awesome! Thanks for working on this. I will miss the Belmont pool as a coach. I loved going out to Long Beach in the middle of Iowa winters for the Grand Prix. Hope the next pool will host similar events.

Donald, your comment is exactly what the City Council needs to hear, and unless you object, I will be posting it later today on the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/RebuildBelmontPlazaOlympicPool. On Tuesday, Feb. 12, the Council will be presented with a plan from City staff to build 2 new pools, one in outdoors and one indoors. The problem is they think the primary competition pool should be the outdoor one, with the indoor pool to also be 50 meters, but have a depth ranging from 13′ to 3.5′. Diving, will be reduced to “recreational diving boards,” eliminating the only indoor 10-meter tower in Southern Calfiornia. The entire design concept is backwards and wrong for comeptitive aquatics. This conceptual plan is on the… Read more »

cynthiacurran

That’s what happens with all these 40 year old pools or older but most of th pools are old.

Vickie Oland

The Belmont pool will certainly be missed. There was nothing like high school water polo champs, CIF swimming finals, high school relay meets, or Junior Olympics at Belmont. As young swimmers we always aspired to swimming in a meet at Belmont. I hope they do replace the venue with a facility we can all be proud to support.

jeantuehl

CIF moved to Riverside permanently last year. The last year for CIF swimming champs was May, 2011.

Good riddance to Belmont. That’s what Long Beach and the state of California gets for corruption, greed, mismanagement and the squandering of the vast amounts of taxpayer monies. Highest tax state in the union with Long Beach one of the worst municpal offenders of excessive hotel taxes, etc, but little to show for it…

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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