It’s officially been five years since the demolition of the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool, arguably the finest athletic facility in the long and storied history of Long Beach. The last five years have been filled with high hopes for a world class replacement, but not a single shovel-full of sand has been dug up to begin construction.
Finally, after years of votes and commissions and lawsuits, there seems to be real hope for a replacement. A scaled-down design for the new Belmont Beach Aquatic Center is expected to pass through the City Council and Coastal Commission and move forward, hopefully with key votes being taken care of in 2020. There will likely be other legal hurdles to overcome, but we’re hopeful that by the end of 2020 the votes and money are in place, and we’ll be looking forward to breaking ground in 2021. For the first time since before World War II, a generation of kids is growing up in Long Beach without a world-class aquatic facility — something we’d like to see change as quickly as possible.