$4 Million Renovated Pool Opens in Time for Heat Wave in South LA

The pool at Central Park Recreation Center was closed for 12 years before reopening a few days ago.

A pool refurbished at a cool $4.1 million at the Central Park Recreation Center in South Los Angeles opened after a 12-year hiatus, just in time for a record-setting heat wave.

The pool located on 22nd Street reopened a few days prior to the hottest day of the week after $4.1 million worth of renovations. Before then, the nearest public pool for South LA residents in the area was seven miles away.

On Monday, many used the recreation center as a haven from the blistering heat.

"It's more than 100," said Miriam Munoz, a South LA resident. "It's very hot. At home, it's very, very hot. It's terrible."

Munoz decided to bring her daughter and her daughter's friends to the pool when she received a text alert about Monday's excessive heat warning.

Temperatures across Southern California reached triple digits. Residents were asked via a statewide Flex Alert to watch their power usage to prevent straining the state's power grid. Despite the alert, many across SoCal lost power — meaning no air conditioning.

Munoz and several others however said they couldn't afford to keep cranking up their air conditioning at home.

"I open six or seven windows over there, because if you put the air conditioner, the bill is up," she said.

The recreation center pool is expected to draw 13,000 kids over the course of the summer, said Department of Recreation and Parks spokeswoman Rose Watson.

It is accessible to children with special needs and has an area where parents can sit with their children on the pool deck without worrying about deep water, said Andre Brent, the aquatic director at LA City Recreation and Parks.

Admission is free for anyone 17 years old or younger, and swim lessons are also free, funded by a $240,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente.

More than 20 swimming pools operated by the County of Los Angeles also opened recently.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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