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The Daily News of Los Angeles
WOODLAND HILLS — The new city pool and recreation center had sat empty, months behind schedule, through the record-breaking heat of early summer.
But the Woodland Hills Recreation Center swimming pool opened with a cannonball splash on Saturday, just in time for another scorching onslaught.
"With record-high temperatures in the West Valley, I wanted to make sure that the pool was open as soon as possible so residents can take advantage of this exciting new addition to our community," Councilman Bob Blumenfield, who represents Woodland Hills, said in a statement.
"I wish we could open the rest of this great facility now, but due to some frustrating construction delays, we have to wait a little bit longer," Blumenfield said.
The old 2,400-square-foot Woodland Hills Rec Center and its cracked and worn-out swimming pool were slated to have been replaced at 5858 Shoup Ave. last year.
But then construction delays put off the $14 million recreation and aquatic center's opening as scores of swimming pools across Los Angeles opened June 10.
At noon Saturday, Blumenfield and city parks and engineering officials slated celebrated the first splash into its 6,800-square-foot pool. By tradition, a city official was tossed into the 90-by-75-foot drink. A 2,500-square-foot bathhouse also opened where peope can change clothes.
The 12,300-square-foot recreation center is supposed to open later this summer, Blumenfield said.
The new center, composed of a new gym and multipur
pose rooms, will be ultra green with a LEED Gold certification. That means solar tubes to bring natural light into the gym. And 3,000 square feet of solar panels on the roof, providing more than a third of the facility's power.
Outside, residents should be able to enjoy landscaped courtyards, an amphitheater and outdoor classroom, plus picnic areas and a 5,000-square-foot playground for the kids.
The new Woodland Hills Recreation Center, originally expected to cost $11 million, was financed through $10.9 million in Quimby funds paid by developers, and $3 million from a Proposition K park bond.
It was designed by BOE Architectural Division and Gruen Associates and built by Royal Construction Corps. City officials did not explain the reason for construction delays.
Blumenfield said he would make sure the swimming pool stayed open beyond its normal fall closing date to make up for time lost because of delays.
"The West Valley will have a brand-new park that will be one of the very best in the city," Blumenfield said. "The residents in this area deserve nothing less."
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