La Jolla aquatic complex offers something for everyone

By Hector Trujillo


After having its pool closed for a short time for maintenance, the Coggan Family Aquatic Complex is back up and running to the excitement of La Jolla residents.

The pool, measuring 25 yards by 50 meters, offers daily recreational swimming, masters swim team, club swim team, club water polo, and group and private swim lessons.

“The community in La Jolla is very supportive of the pool and what we do here,” Coggan director Randy Franke said. “It’s a private pool run for the benefit of the community and the high school.”

Opened in 2002, the complex was created through the largesse of private donors and community contributions. The Coggan family donated $1.2 million to the campaign for the Olympic-sized pool in memory of patriarch B.F. “Sandy” Coggan, who died in August 1999. The community group behind the pool’s development raised more than $5 million on top of that.

Despite being technically a private pool, organizers asked La Jolla High administrators if they wanted to run the facility but San Diego Unified School District officials didn’t want to be liable for the cost of renting it, according to Franke. The pool is owned and operated by the La Jolla Aquatic Complex Foundation.

“We are so glad that the complex has found a way to stay open,” La Jolla resident Leslie Fisher said. “A lot of recreational locations are closing down all over with the economy the way it is. My kids and I always look forward to using the pool, especially during the summer.”

As a mother of two teenage boys, Fisher and her family have been using the pool since 2005.

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 P.E. swim classes. It also plays host to a strong master’s swimming program.

“Our membership has grown over the years,” Franke added. “We want everyone to know that the pool is for the public. We could not ask for a better group of people or community than those we have here.” Franke said it costs more than a half-million dollars a year to operate and maintain the facility. Among these costs are increases in utilities, maintenance and insurance.

Fees for activities and memberships and money paid by the school district for use of the facilities, along with funds raised during the annual Splash Bash, support its operation. The board is also working on developing an endowment fund.

Besides the private and group swim lessons offered to the public, there are also summer camps featuring swim lessons, sports, arts and crafts, drama, computers, recreational swimming and a weekly field trip. On top of that, they run other summer camps from aquatics to arts and basketball.

The facility also offers CPR and lifesaving and is used by the Junior Lifeguard program for swim testing.

The Aquatic Complex recently hosted the Women’s FINA World League Super Final, an international water polo competition featuring the top eight teams from around the world.

The Coggan Family Aquatic Complex on the southeast side of La Jolla High School where Nautilus Street and Fay Avenue meet.

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