The final details have been set for the demolition of the historic Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool, which will happen in late September.
The Long Beach City Council voted last week to approve a $206,400 increase to the demolition budget, increasing the total for demolition from the originally budgeted $2.4 million to $3.1 million, mostly due to an unexpectedly high level of hazardous materials at the site. Both asbestos and lead materials have been found in the building, which further enhances, post-facto, the need for its demolition and replacement, though the original demolition had to do with safety concerns in the event of an earthquake.
While those details have been set, the details over the features of the new replacement facility have not been. The old Belmont Plaza pool opened in 1968 and hosted two Olympic Trials meets. It sat 2,500, and local aquatics organizers originally asked for the same so that Long Beach could re-enter the rotation for major meet hosting.
Many options have emerged, though none have been formally advanced for approval by City Council. While all plans include a separate deep-water diving well, a contentious issue early on has been the seating capacities. One plan has 650 seats, one has 900 seats, and one has 1,250 seats. The NCAA has said that they would like to see at least 1,200 seats available to host future NCAA Championships at, so if Belmont wants to at least be available for those duties, only one of the three options is viable.