In the 1940s, World War II servicemen used to gather at Hey Rookie Pool in San Pedro to watch synchronized swimmers. On Tuesday, about two dozen kids jumped into the very same pool with their local councilman to celebrate its reopening after a closure of more than 20 years.
The historic pool was shut down in the 1990s after being deemed unsafe. It quickly fell into disrepair and became graffiti-ridden. But in 2009, taxpayers approved an $8 million project to restore the pool to its World War II-era glory.
The city held an official ceremony Tuesday for the reopening of the pool, which features redone ampitheatre seating and aqua tiles as well as an 180 degree view from the downtown Los Angeles skyline to Catalina Island. Many present at the event had deep ties to the site.
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Gary Lee Moore, a city engineer in San Pedro, said his dad used to swim at the pool during World War II. For one local girl, Melodie Mathlin, the pool will be where she learns to swim.
"I think that (the pool) is beautiful because it's in San Pedro and San Pedro is a beautiful place," Mathlin said.