Just as Michael Phelps was setting historic competitive swimming records in London at the 2012 Olympics, a new $10 million Norman S. Johnson Aquatics Center at L.A. County’s Arcadia Park opened this week with what appears to be three different pools instead of one, and all new bathhouse facilities.
The two-year project finished and opened on time, following a closure in July 2010 after an excess of chlorine made its way into the pool that forced 34 kids between the ages of 6-11 to be decontaminated, 17 of which were hospitalized, none of which suffered serious injuries.
The primary 6,150- square-foot competition swimming pool is complemented by a 6,300-square- foot recreation and therapy pool that includes a nearly separate splash pad with water fountains that spray water in the air and on swimmers.
The main new pool has starting blocks and a brand- new scoreboard. The splash pad has areas that are only inches deep and a maximum depth of two feet deep, though there is a narrow connection to the middle pool.
The new aquatics center will continue to offer swim lessons, recreational swimming, swim team, water polo team, synchronized swimming and diving teams. It will also offer aqua-aerobics classes and will soon add a skin-diving class.
Facing $80,000 in repair bills following chemical contamination, the County opted to keep the pool closed and get an early start on a previously planned $8 million, 18-month improvement project. The County opened Arcadia Park in 1938.