By Samuel Harwood
Swimmers and families returning to the Santa Monica Swim Center after its three month closure were greeted with a smile and a free gear bag in place of a ribbon cutting Saturday with smiles all around.
Just in time for summer, the center is here to stay and better than ever.
Santa Monica’s public pool, located on Pico and 16th, closed for renovation in November. Festivities celebrating its reopening were held early afternoon Saturday, February 27.
“We’re pleased to say that the renovation project was completed on time and under budget,” said Karen Ginsberg, director of Santa Monica’s Community and Cultural Services department.
The $1.3-million project was initiated to address various deterioration of the facility, such as a delaminating deck, out-of-date lights and weakening tiles within the pools.
The renovation project replaced all of the degraded objects with stronger and more up-to-date material, including energy-efficient LED lights.
Ensuring the comprehensive nature of the project, repairs were also made to smaller scale items such as lockers.
Saturday’s reopening offered free swim classes, activities for children and parents as well as complimentary sandwiches on the Center’s sun deck. There were also booths promoting local swim groups such as Swim with the Heart and Team Santa Monica, as well as a table run by the Center’s partner, Annenberg Beach House, where children could make paddles and other swim-themes arts and crafts.
“[It feels] great to be back, great to be open again,” said Amy Kramer, City of Santa Monica Principle Aquatics Supervisor. “It was a very long three months so it’s nice to be able to be here for the community and for them to be back here swimming and enjoying the facility.”