|(April 2, 2017. 5:00 p.m.) -- LBCC Trustee Sunny Zia has requested that a planned LBCC Aquatics Center, which is among items listed for funding using a June 2016 voter-approved LBCC bond measure (Measure LB), be agendized for information and discussion at next month's, or the following month's, meeting of LBCC's Board of Trustees.
[Scroll down for further]
Trustee Zia's request at the March 28 Board meeting came after Gordana Kajer and Ann Cantrell spoke during the period for public comment on non-agendized items to urge that LBCC explore joint use with the City of Long Beach of LBCC's planned and bond-funded Aquatics Center. Ms. Kajer and Ms. Cantrell oppose City Hall plans to build a $103+ million Aquatics Center at Olympic Plaza in Belmont Shore using Tidelands Funds (currently roughly $40+ million short of the anticipated cost.)
The LBCC Aquatic Center's pool dimensions would be the same Olympic-size, competition-level pool (50 meters by 25 yards) proposed for Belmont Shore. Trustee Zia indicated that she was interested in learning more about the planned project in response to the public testimony, to seek information and invite discussion of a joint use and noted that after receiving information the Board may or may not wish to entertain further.
Ms. Kajer and Ms. Cantrell came to the LBCC Board meeting to be heard on the matter after a March 19 report/perspective piece by LBREPORT.com described the planned LBCC Aquatics Center and plans to start its design phase in the coming months.
Ms. Kajer: ...The pool that the City is proposing to be built [at Belmont Plaza] isn't funded. It's a $103 million project versus the proposed project for your pool which is roughly $28 million. We need more Olympic size pools in the City of Long Beach, pools for recreation, pools for family, for students, for our community...I'm on appellant [to the City Council] on that [Planning Comm'n approved] decision to build that pool. If feel that pool is too pricey, it's in the wrong place and it's a bad policy for the City of Long Beach. I'm here to ask you, in a very uninformed way, to find out if there is an opportunity for LBCC and the City to develop a joint project. Your Measure LB funds call for partnerships between the City, the community and students. I wonder if this might be an opportunity to build a pool here on your campus that could meet the needs of the City of Long Beach and their proposed project at the Plaza...I'd like to start a dialogue: how can we develop a plan that could potentially serve the needs of our community in a way that saves everybody money but develops an Aquatics Center that we could all be proud of. I ask you simply to open some communication...
Following comments by Trustee Otto, Trustee Zia stated:
Trustee Zia: ...I'd like to get more information and explore the input we received tonight to see if it's a viable option...It would be interesting to get information on this item so we can have an opportunity to explore the idea. At its face, it seems pretty plausible but I'd like to find out more, so would it be possible to get a future report on the item at a later meeting?
LBCC Interim Superintendent-President Ann Marie Gabel extemporaneously offered a cogent and candid overview of the current status of the matter:
Interim Sup't-President Gabel: ...The City approached us in wanting us to go in partnership with the City, so basically take the $28 million that we had allocated [from the bond proceeds] to build an Aquatics Center here on our campus, they had asked us to take those funds and put it into the Belmont Plaza project. We denied that request for many reasons but primarily because it's not in the best interest of our students. Our swimming pool is used from probably 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. almost every single day which includes weekends and so in looking at trying to do a joint use with the City, we don't have a whole lot of free time that would be available for residents of the city to use. The other aspect is we are building one swimming pool and the Belmont Plaza I believe has five swimming pools which includes a diving platform, a complex that seats over 2,000 individuals, a warm-up pool, I mean it is a complex. What we are building will be one pool that will meet the needs of college and will be in accordance with the competition needed for a college and not necessarily the competition needed for the Olympics, which is what is proposed at the Belmont Plaza.
The LBCC planned Aquatics Center came to LBREPORT.com's attention through LBCC's Feb. 28 publication of its "2016 Citizens' Oversight Committee Annual Report" which included the following:
Upcoming Construction Projects
The Annual Report further states:
[Oversight Committee Annual Report text and graphic] This project is the construction of a new 50 meter x 25 yard pool as well as a 12,000 sq. ft. (approx.) shower/locker facility in a location near the existing pool. The existing pool has extensive maintenance and repair problems that cannot be cost effectively addressed, thereby requiring this project...
The LBCC Aquatics Center was included in LBCC's "2041 Facilities Master Plan" issued in May 2016, listing and describing various projects that LBCC said it would fund using the Measure LB bond revenue (approved by voters in June 2016.) (Property owners within the LBCC District, including Long Beach, Signal Hill, Avalon and part of Lakewood, will now pay $25 per year for every $100,000 of their property's Tax-Assessor assessed value.)
Among the Master Plan-described projects is the LBCC Aquatics Center:
[Text in LBCC Facilities Master Plan]...BUILDING W- AQUATIC CENTER
In addition, LBCC's official Measure LB "Project List" -- the legal representation to taxpayers of items to be funded by the then-proposed debt-bond -- included the following:
"...(ix) Repair, improve and construct additional athletic laboratories, including an aquatic center, to serve District students, members of the general public and qualified athletic organizations
The LBCC Aquatics Center is currently planned just south of Carson St., between Faculty Dr. and the Tennis Courts, close to the large parking lot at adjoining Veterans Stadium. Its planning and design phases are scheduled to begin soon, with planning anticipated to begin in the summer of 2017 and design to follow in 2018. During these phases, initial assumptions for a relatively simple pool could presumably be upgraded -- at some costs and with issues not yet examined or discussed -- to include larger spectator audiences, higher diving platforms and other amenities that advocates of the Belmont Shore location have argued could bring major events and produce revenue.
Below is LBCC's Aquatic Center timing schedule showing planning scheduled to begin in summer 2017 (purple line) with design expected in 2018 (green line) and completion slated by mid 2021 (orange line).
On March 24, advocates of building the Belmont Shore Aquatics Center posted the following on their Facebook page:
["Rebuild Belmont Plaza" Facebook page text] We were pleased to learn this week that Long Beach City College is planning to build a new 50-meter by 25-yard pool and locker room on its main campus, using an estimated $28,000,000 in bond funds from the June 2016 voter-approved Measure LB. Any new aquatic facility constructed in Long Beach is a very good thing for not only LBCC students, but also the general public.
Aquatics supporters have said the Belmont Shore Aquatics Center will enable major swim meets and competitive events that will draw visitors, produce revenue and build Long Beach's reputation as an Aquatics Capital.
May 16 is the newly scheduled date for City Council consideration of appeals filed by a number of individuals to the Planning Commission's voted approval (without dissents) of a draft EIR, related project approvals and a zoning variance to allow the Belmont Plaza proposed facility to proceed. The Belmont Shore project will also still require Coastal Commission approval. Funding sources for roughly $40+ million needed to build the $103+ million proposed Belmont Shore facility remain to be identified by management and, if so, approved by a City Council majority.
Developing. Further to follow.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Recommend LBREPORT.com to your Facebook friends:
Follow LBReport.com with:
Contact us: mail@LBReport.com
Hardwood Floor Specialists
Call (562) 422-2800 or (714) 836-7050