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Coggan complex ready for Splash Bash

The Coggan Family Aquatic Complex will host its eighth annual Splash Bash from noon to 4 p.m. Oct 11.

The event - which costs only $5 for adults and children and includes fun, games, food and music - is designed to help defer the operating deficit that comes with increases in utilities, maintenance and insurance at the seven-year-old complex at La Jolla High School.

Pool director Randy Franke said it costs about $600,000 a year to operate and maintain the facility, but since the pool was built, they have all but ignored “the big thing” - deferred maintenance.

“Down the line, we’ll have to take care of things like replastering the pool, pumps and filters,” he said. “For the first seven years, we’ve been working on covering operating costs. Now we have to start looking down the road at a five- to 10-year window.”

Gary Felt, president of the La Jolla Aquatic Complex Foundation, reiterated the need to start bracing for the future and noted, “Last year we were able to break even with the proceeds of Splash Bash.”

He added that he continues to be amazed, having served as the foundation president for the last three years, that there are still so many residents who don’t know that CFAC is a community pool.

The complex has about 2,000 members, a number that has held steady despite the economic turndown, Franke said, adding that the pool has always had a lot of community support.

Built after a group of community residents raised the funds, the pool is one of the only privately funded pool complexes in the city. The school district pays only for time that its students use the pool, with the rest of the funds raised through the foundation’s endowment fund, sponsors, Splash Bash and swim-a-thons.

The Coggan pool is home to La Jolla High School’s water polo and swim teams, as well as club water polo and swim teams, and high and middle school’s PE swim classes. The pool hosts a master’s swim group and currently is being used by the UCSD’s men’s water polo team while their campus pool equipment room is being repaired.

Private and group swim lessons are available, and camps are offered during the summer.

In addition, CPR and Lifesaving courses are taught, and the Junior Lifeguard program utilizes the pool for swim testing.

But Splash Bash is all about fun, with pool games such as inner tube water polo, inflatables, a variety of food - including offerings from Home Grown Meats and Yogi Topi - and music by the live band Luke Daniels and Magic Number. There will also be an inflatable Viking ship, surf-simulator and a jumpee for the children on the pool deck.

A swim-a-thon will also take place with prizes like a digital camera, iPod Nano, and iPod Touch for pledges collected.

The Coggan Family Aquatic Complex is at 800 Nautilus St., on the corner of Fay Avenue. For more information on Splash Bash or any program at the pool, contact Anna Siperstein in the pool office at (858) 456-0945 or look on the Web at www.cfaquatics.org and click on “Splash Bash.”