The public’s initial response to the idea was positive.
“Families for a Point Loma Swimming Pool has been working toward the development of an aquatic center in NTC Park since 2000,” said Julie Cramer, spokeswoman for the grass-roots group. “While the project has taken some time, the need in Point Loma and the surrounding communities for an aquatic center continues.”
Cramer credited City Council District 2’s last two councilmembers, Byron Wear and Kevin Faulconer, along with city staff, as having been “instrumental in keeping this project moving forward. This aquatic center offers the opportunity for people of all ages to come together and enjoy a range of swim and fitness activities. Located at NTC Park, the aquatic center will be a true community asset.”
The head of the Peninsula Family YMCA agreed that the community is pool-deficient.
“The community has been pushing for this project for the better part of
10 years,” said Vince Glorioso, the YMCA’s executive director.
“The city has issued an RFP for an organization to come in and develop and operate an aquatic center, leasing the 20,000-square-foot Building 619 in NTC [the former Naval Training Center], which was a child-care center,” he said.
Glorioso said there could be a hitch, however, in owning/managing any new NTC aquatic center involving terms of the lease.
“There’s some federal (Department of the Interior) jurisdiction over this site, so there’s some argument in terms of how this lease would be held,” he said. “It would actually be a concession agreement, not a typical property lease.”
The pool RFP states the city is seeking a concessionaire to provide an aquatic center on the former NTC site for the use and benefit of the general public.
The proposed site design calls for an aquatic center complex with a 50-meter pool, a 25-meter instruction pool and a family area with interactive water-play elements.
The pool plan also includes locker rooms, offices, restrooms, storage and a concession stand.
The city is inviting proposals from qualified firms or individuals on the pool project, which would consist of a renovation/remodel and utilization of city-owned NTC Building 619.
Proposals must include a conceptual plan for the property, along with any proposed changes or additions to the existing facilities.
Among other things, proposals must offer a preliminary site and floor plan; a program plan providing a description of planned programs/activities and/or services, including hours of operation, proposed fees and charges; a financing plan; and assurances that the applicant can provide the necessary fixtures and equipment needed to provide aquatic center services.
Glorioso said the YMCA could be interested in bidding on the NTC pool project.
“We’re reviewing the RFP to see whether it matches our objectives and to learn more in terms of what the city is seeking,” Glorioso said. “It’s certainly within the sphere of the YMCA’s operations.”
He said YMCAs currently operate more than 20 public pools countywide.
Concern has been expressed by some that, regardless of who ultimately builds the new NTC pool, that it be big enough, 50 meters not 25 meters, in order for it to be truly considered a world-class aquatic complex with the capability of hosting competitive events.