On Monday, June 25, the new design of the Children’s Pool Lifeguard Tower was debated at La Jolla Town Council’s Parks & Beaches Committee meeting. This new station would more than double its current footprint and would include a reception area and a workout room for the lifeguards. We ask this simple question; is this necessary?
Deborah Lindholm, chair of the Parks & Beaches Committee, feels that it is not. “All of La Jolla’s community groups are united in opposition to this project,” she told the Light. If this is so, why is this project moving forward? Lindholm says that “Parks & Beaches supports the work that lifeguards do,” but this new station will help them perform their jobs better. Her committee has long advocated a design that lowers the station’s height and re-engineers the restrooms, to maximize the building’s functional use for the lifeguards and the public, without enlarging the current station’s size. We agree.
We ask another question; in this time of fiscal austerity, why is the city even considering this project? Here in La Jolla, our community recently funded a project to renovate a dilapidated fire station, Station 13. Local architect Trip Bennett saw that only bookshelves and cardboard were what separated the male and female sleeping quarters, and enlisted the help of his Rotary club and the community to rebuild the station, all without the financial assistance of the city of San Diego. In doing so, the firefighters now have better facilities to better serve as our first responders.
Everyone appreciates the work that the lifeguards do to keep our beaches safe. But if the facilities they desire don’t meet with community and taxpayer support, or with our city’s current fiscal realities, this may not be the time to provide non-essential facilities.
Anyone interested in this topic should attend the next Parks & Beaches committee meeting on Monday, July 23, at 4 p.m. at La Jolla Recreation Center.