Swimmers at the current temporary pool near the Belmont Plaza Pool. Photo by Gisela Merino.

The deadline to see the Belmont Plaza Pool in all its mid-mod glory could be coming as soon as the end of September.

The City Council unanimously approved an additional $206,400 to be spent toward the demolition of the historic natatorium, which was home to the 1968 and 1976 US Olympic trials. The demolition process has been a tumultuous one since the City permanently closed the pool in January of 2013 after discovering the building was structurally unsound.

Initially expected to cost $2.4M, the price of the demolition has skyrocketed as various issues—mainly revolving around abating the impact of hazardous materials—arose. The newly-projected cost of the demolition sits at $3.1M.

The dilapidation of the Belmont Plaza Pool resulted in the building of a $5M temporary pool to be put in its place.

Meanwhile, City officials and planners are attempting to come up with a finalized version of a permanent structure, for which the Council approved $62.1M in February 2013 to build an indoor-outdoor facility.

Last June saw aquatics advocates and City officials duke it out in a special session over special features versus cost. Advocates, including Olympian Greg Louganis, are fighting for competitive facilities, including a separate diving well, as well as more seating. Such additions, according to City officials, will not only push the project back three years in development but make the cost skyrocket from the initial estimate of $62.1M to somewhere between $99M and $128M.

With the possibility of the 2024 Olympics being hosted in Los Angeles, as noted by former 3rd District Councilmember Gary DeLong at the study session, it is uncertain what type of facilities Long Beach will receive with the new pool. According to suggestions made at the study session, various meetings with stakeholders, city organizations such as the CVB, and aquatics organizations will occur to help the project move forward.

The demolition will be led by the Psomas Corporation.

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