The Great Restoration

Marina officials are working up plans to remodel the old, abandoned pool facility, which is now empty and home to graffiti.

The old pool next to Water City Sports and Roller Hockey in Marina stands in stark contrast to the clean craftsman-style University Village Apartments across the street. It’s easy to imagine what the facility was when it was in use – an impressive athletic pool lit by skylights in the soaring ceilings above.

It’s now a place where local teens take edgy photos and add onto the colorful graffiti. Marina’s residents have other ideas: restoring it.

“The bones are there,” says Brian McMinn, Marina’s public works director, who is helping lead the charge on reviving the pool for public use. “It’s been an option for quite a while within the whole of the University Village Master Plan.”

On July 23, the city’s Public Works and Recreation and Cultural Services departments held an open house inviting the public to take a look at options for the old pool, followed by a presentation to City Council.

Councilmembers asked about the pool’s accessibility and funding. McMinn says that accessibility will be a priority. The plans that have been rendered show an athletic pool with lap lanes, and also a section for physical therapy. A separate recreational pool includes slide and climbing features.

Initial estimates tag the pool as about a $7-$8 million project, and McMinn’s team is exploring everything from individual and corporate donations to bonds and grants.

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“The cost could have been much higher [like in the $14 million range],” McMinn says, “but we’re lucky it’s a sturdy building.

“Residents are excited,” he adds. “[Public Works] never gets that kind of feedback.”

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Marielle Argueza is a staff writer and calendar editor for the Weekly. She covers education, immigration and culture. Additionally, she covers the areas of Marina and South County. She occasionally writes about food and runs the internship program.

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