The community is invited to attend the ceremony that will mark the closing of the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool, 4000 E Olympic Plaza, on Sunday, Oct. 26 from 1pm to 2:30pm. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, 3rd District Councilmember Suzie Price, the Department of Parks, Recreation & Marine and the Tidelands Capital Improvement Division are expected to be in attendance.
“Having swam and used the Belmont Pool on multiple occasions, it is important that we honor the pool’s rich aquatic past and give a proper goodbye to a Long Beach institution that has provided recreational and athletic opportunities to hundreds of thousands of residents over the years,” Garcia said.
The pool was closed in January 2013 when it was determined that the Belmont Pool Natatorium was seismically and structurally unsafe, according to the City.
Though the pool itself cannot be accessed during the ceremony, attendees can view the pool from the inside of the lifeguard office located in a seismically safe portion of the building, according to the City. Attendees are invited to bring trophies, medals and other memorabilia to share memories of the pool. Light refreshments will be served.
The Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool opened in 1968 and hosted the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials that year and in 1976, as well as NCAA championships in 1974 and 1978 and several collegiate conference championship events. It was a training site during the 1984 Olympic Games held in Los Angeles. In addition, more than 200,000 recreational users swam in the pool every year, according to the City.
The Belmont Plaza temporary pool opened in December 2013 so the community could continue to have year-round access to a versatile pool with ample opportunities for recreational and lap swimming, water exercise classes, competitive swimming and water-polo programs.
The City Council approved program plans for the new Belmont Beach and Aquatic Center on Oct. 21. The Center’s plans include multiple bodies of water and a separated diving well. The design and environmental review processes continue, with hopes to begin construction in 2016.
The demolition, set to begin in late October, will take approximately six months to complete, according to the City.
“The Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool has been the aquatic home for so many people, including several of our Olympians and, just as important, all the children, families and recreational swimmers who have enjoyed using the pool,” Councilmember Price said.
For more information on the Belmont Pool Closing Ceremony, call (562) 570-3150.
Source: City of LB