A conceptual design of the proposed Belmont Beach and Aquatics Center submitted by the city to the California Coastal Commission in 2021. The project was estimated to cost $119 million and will no longer be pursued by the city.

City leaders will vote Tuesday on a management contract for the Belmont Beach and Aquatics Center, bringing the project that has been in the works for years to a possible start in 2023.

The council could approve a $7.1 million contract with Arcadis U.S. Inc. to oversee design specifications, inspections and other technical aspects of the pool rebuild located in the same spot as the former Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Belmont Shore.

Arcadis, a national consulting firm, has recently done work with Los Angeles Metro and the Port of Los Angeles.

A memo from Public Works Director Eric Lopez requesting approval of the contract said that the pool design is about 70% complete and that construction documents and other pre-construction processes could be complete by the end of the year.

Before construction starts, the city will have to find a way to pay for the increasingly expensive project.

Projected costs for the pool have fluctuated over the years but the most recent projection put the project at over $100 million, up from the $85 million estimate the city gave in 2019. Originally the design included a domed pool structure, but the California Coastal Commission rejected that plan.

City officials have reserved about $61 million in Tidelands Fund for the rebuild, and City Manager Tom Modica said that he expects a plan to finance the rest of the project to be put before the City Council by the end of 2022. Tidelands funds largely come from oil production in the city and are restricted to use within the coastal zone, which is approximately the portion of the city south of Broadway.

Despite the cost of oil spiking this year, Modica said in March that any gains seen in oil revenue could be offset by inflation and rising construction costs.

“You won’t really know it until you bid it,” Modica said. “But anecdotally we’re seeing prices rise across the board.”

The design given preliminary approval by the Coastal Commission in early 2021 includes competitive swim areas like a diving area and a 50-meter swimming pool with space for 1,865 spectators. It would also include recreational features like a whirlpool and play areas for children.

Long Beach still has to get approval from the commission for how it will address equity issues when it comes to accessing the new pool, which is located in an affluent part of the city at one of its southernmost points, which could create barriers for some residents. The pool site is about a 12-mile drive from North Long Beach, where city officials said earlier this year that building a community pool could cost about $10 million.

Part of the city’s submission sent back to the commission in July 2021 called for a bus program to transport residents from other parts of the city to Belmont Shore to use the pool.

Construction of the pool could start next year and the city says it anticipates that it will conclude before the 2028 Olympics come to Long Beach, though there are no events currently scheduled at the Belmont Beach and Aquatics Center.

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Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.