NATIONAL CITY, Calif. — There’s much excitement over upgrades coming to the 63-year-old Las Palmas pool in National City.
"Today, we celebrate the support of funding,” said National City Mayor, Alejandra Sotelo-Solis.
California Senator Toni Atkins presented the $2 million check from the state budget to infrastructure improvements.
"1958, it is older than I am. The Las Palmas pool and the recreation center are one of those places that is the heart of the community, where generations of families and friends have gathered here and learn to swim here,” said Toni Atkins, the California Senate president pro tempore.
The money will go to fix the crumbling pool deck, a large hole in the plaster at the bottom of the pool and many repairs.
“We at the city have wanted to do so much and so many changes for this iconic resource, and this will make it happen,” said Sotelo-Solis.
In addition to the state's $2 million, the National City council just allocated $2.3 million from the American Rescue Plan Act money, totaling to $4.3 million for improvements, although it will take $5 million overall to complete the repairs.
“The people of National City are really deserving of such a wonderful amenity. If you are a swimmer or appreciate what this pool provides, it is different from any other pool in San Diego County,” said Sen. Ben Hueso, who represents California’s 40th district.
Longtime National City resident and regular pool user Mary Alice Hoss can't for the upgrades to be completed.
“Way overdue, after being here for 49 years, I think this could've been done like 30 years ago when my son was born,” said Hoss, who brought her children to the Mom and Tot baby swim lessons in the ’90s.
Active at the pool since her 1981 swim team days, competing in the butterfly stroke at swim meets, Hoss says the long list of repairs are endless.
“We need the deck done, and we definitely need a roof in the lobby area. The roof has been leaking, and the showers could use an upgrade, they are the same showers from when I came here as a junior higher,” Hoss said.
Next on the list, the Sotelo-Solis says she hopes the city will create a wellness center that connects the pool to the Comacho Gym Recreation Center.
“This is beyond excitement for us to go from thinking we were going to lose this facility to know that it is being expanded and upgraded, and we were going to be able to facilitate even more,” Hoss said.
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