Plans move forward for Children’s Pool lifeguard remodel

RJC Architect's conceptual illustration of the north elevation of the Children's Pool lifeguard station. Photo: Courtesy

By Dave Schwab
Staff Writer

La Jolla Parks and Beaches Committee members are OK with conceptual plans for the long-awaited Children’s Pool Lifeguard Station remodel, providing full vehicular access is provided to the beach so it can be cleaned properly.

Committee members also favored an accelerated work schedule for the project, which ordinarily would be slowed by both the city’s summer construction moratorium and the Dec. 15 to May 15 harbor seal pupping season there.

The committee, which is in the process of splitting from the La Jolla Town Council and becoming its own independent nonprofit, also endorsed a proposal by committee member Phyllis Minick and landscape architect Jim Neri to form a subcommittee to study beautifying the Children’s Pool plaza walkway which includes a popular gazebo overlooking the pool.

“We have conceptual plans approved and at hand to replace the existing lifeguard station built in the mid-‘60s: It’s small, old, deteriorated and no longer serves the needs of lifeguards or the public and has been condemned,” said Jihad Sleiman with the city’s Engineering and Capital Projects Department.

“What we’re going to replace it with is a brand new, state-of-the-art lifeguard station with two observation towers, street-level floor plan, a first-aid station and public restrooms on the lower floor with showers, sinks and drinking fountains.”

Sleiman added the new station would be accessible from the street level down to the lower-floor restrooms. But when pressed on whether there would be access for maintenance vehicles to get down to the beach to clean and maintain it, Sleiman said he was not sure if current plans include access for larger-scale vehicles.

“If the beach cannot be maintained … That’s got to be a basic part of the concept,” said longtime committee member Melinda Merryweather.

The city engineer added the project would be done on a design-build basis.

“The designer and contractor will be on the same team, and we’re going to build it as we design it,” he said.

But Sleiman added a major problem remains as the summer construction moratorium and seals’ pupping season combined leave only three or four months when work could be done each year at Children’s Pool.

He estimated construction of the new 766-square-foot, estimated $3.8 million lifeguard tower would take a total of 14 months with work commencing in winter 2012 with the demolition of the existing structure.

Parks committee member Bill Robbins suggested the scope of the project be increased.

“Looking at the bigger picture, we need to fix everything including the steps,” he said. “Why are we ignoring them saying they’re not part of the product?”

Parks committee member Ken Hunrichs suggested more shower space will be needed than what is envisioned, pointing out there will be long lines otherwise.

At the end of the meeting, the committee voted unanimously to send a letter to the city advocating that it start fulfilling its role of cleaning and maintaining Children’s Pool as provided in the trust status of the pool when it was bequeathed by Ellen Browning Scripps and deeded from the state to the city back in the 1930s.

Related posts:

  1. Heal the Bay rates La Jolla beaches among tops on ‘report card’
  2. La Jolla’s Casa stairway repairs set to start May 16
  3. Pup rescued from La Jolla Children’s pool improving
  4. Children’s Pool rope barrier goes up, but only for pupping season
  5. City restricts First Amendment sellers at Children’s Pool

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Posted by Kathy Day on Jul 27, 2011. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

12 Comments for “Plans move forward for Children’s Pool lifeguard remodel”

  1. K R Stafford

    If, for whatever reason, the new lifeguard facility, by virtue of it's very design, blocks basic maintenance and emergency access to the beach, it is entirely unacceptable. Why would public funds be spent on facilities for beach goers while making it impossible for people to enjoy the beach? This begins to sound like a boondoggle, and I cannot understand how engineering could consider such a design.

    • James

      How does not having vehicle access to the beach make it "impossible for people to enjoy the beach"? People use the beach now and some might even tell you they enjoyed it! (please don't bore us with anti-SealWatch comments)

      • Davy Jones

        There is a need for work vehicles to be able not only beach cleaning, removal of dead animals and maintenance but also for sand removal and the possibility to open the sluice ways.

      • Califia

        "Sealwatch" Where is that even mentioned? Preemptive paranoia?

        Vehicular access to Children's Pool Beach through the established ten foot wide path from Coast Blvd is protected by the Local Coastal Plan and the Coastal Act. The City should stop wasting more money trying to block the ramp with an "improved" ramp only 5 feet wide. This new ramp ends at the top of the ten foot wide ramp with no plans to fix the ramp down to the beach.

        The ramp at Children's Pool needs to be repaired and resurfaced and the gate opened. Why is it always locked closed? Families with children in strollers shouldn't be expected to carry them down the steep and narrow stairs when a ramp is available.

        A very expensive and obtrusive ramp is being planned for the La Jolla Cove. Wheelchair access is also needed at Children's Pool. Consider using what we already have available. With a few minor repairs, the existing ramp at Children's Pool could provide disabled visitors access and vehicle access for maintenance and public safety without too much effort.

    • Patrick

      We need a great looking facility in this highly visible and picturesque location. Let's get it built and replace the eyesore. Do we really need vehicle access to the beach? Whatever work needed can be done without vehicular access, as it is now.

  2. cyberKICK

    If the beach can't be cleaned or maintained, then yea, it is impossible to enjoy the beach. RIght now there is vehicle access for beach cleaning and maintenance.

    • James

      I don't think I've ever seen a a vehicle on CP in my whole life of living in SD but what I saw today on the beach was kids playing and enjoying it!

  3. cyberKICK

    Well, every once it a while they have to resurface the wall and replace the railings. They also used to truck out the excess sand as it constantly builds up there. Right now the sand is about 8ft deeper than it used to be. They've done car commercials there and even scenes from movies (one was a war scene). I've seen vehicles on that beach plenty.

  4. cyberKICK

    They use the access road. The plans call for removing the access road.

    • James

      That rampish thing on the west side of the current tower? I can't imagine anything not four wheel drive getting up and down that and even then couldn't be easy.

      • cyberKICK

        Well, they use the ramp for getting rescues easily out of the area, as well as emptying the trash cans, seaweed removal, sand removal and seawall maintenance.

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