City Will Provide McCambridge Pool For Burbank High Water Sport Team Use After Summer Season

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McCambridge Park Pool (File Photo, August 2012)

The City of Burbank has entered into an agreement with the Burbank Unified School District to allow Burbank High water sports teams the use of the McCambridge Pool after summer seasonal use concludes in early August, according to a report presented at the joint Burbank City Council and Burbank Unified School District meeting on Tuesday, June 8.

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The Burbank High School pool is slated to be closed through April 2023 for extensive repairs, impacting water polo and swim team sports. Historically, the McCambridge Pool is only open for the summer season and lies unused for most of the year. In the past, BUSD has allowed use of its pool facilities for City summer use when the Verdugo Park Pool, now known as the Verdugo Aquatic Facility, was closed for five years during a complete rebuild.

“In November 2008, the City of Burbank (City) and Burbank Unified School District (District) entered into a 50-year agreement for the joint use of facilities,” explained Deputy Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services Diego Cevallos. “The Joint Use Agreement (Agreement) provided that future use of swimming pools be addressed in a separate agreement. In 2009, with the temporary closure of the City’s Verdugo Aquatic Facility (VAF), the City and District entered into a MOU for the shared use of the District’s two high school swimming pools.”

The MOU allowed the City to continue providing water safety classes and serve the community. The City and District staff collaborated to develop scheduled use for the City at Burbank High School (BHS) and John Burroughs High School (JBHS) swimming pools. Although the depth of the District facilities limited the type of classes the City could offer to the community, many of the water safety programs were accommodated, in addition to lap swim. Furthermore, the City and the District negotiated a daily user fee for the use of District swimming pools. The daily cost included direct costs for campus security staff and swimming pool operational costs. The term of the Agreement was five years, as it was the intent of both parties that the District allow the City use of the District pools until the reopening of both City pools.”

During the May 4, 2021, Joint Use Committee meeting the City learned of the closure of both the BHS and JBHS swimming pools for emergency repairs,” Cevallos continued. “The repairs for JBHS swimming pool were limited in scope and the JBHS pool is expected to be in operation by June 1, 2021.”

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“However, the BHS repairs require the pool remain closed through April 2023. The scope of the repairs includes but are not limited to: pool deck repair; replacement of pool boilers and filters; removal and replacement of diving platforms, timing systems, scoreboards, and spectator seating. As part of this renovation project the District also plans to meet and comply with American Disability Act (ADA) requirements.”

The closure of the BHS swimming pool impacts several robust high school athletic programs. These programs include a boys’ varsity and junior varsity water polo program with an estimated 40 student athletes that practice during the fall semester and a girls’ varsity and junior varsity water polo program with an estimated 35 student athletes that practice during the winter season. BHS also offers a girls and boys swim team with over 60 participants during the spring season.”

The City operates and manages extensive summer programming at the VAF and the McCambridge Pool (MCP) and is limited in its capacity to provide the District with sufficient pool space to support the BHS athletics water polo and swim team program. Currently, during the summer months the City provides over 279 Learn-to-Swim classes with over 1,533 participants, hosts 10,000 lap swimmers during late May, June, July, and early August, and provide service to 15 user groups with up to 1,000 weekly participants,” Cevallos also said. “Once the summer season programming concludes in early August, the City can accommodate BHS at the MCP during the school year, until repairs to the BHS pool are complete.”

The Verdugo Aquatic Center remains a popular spot for Burbank youth. (Photo by Ross A. Benson, June 2013)

“MCP is a full-service aquatic facility with showers, locker-rooms, restrooms, and a 50-meter by 22-yard pool tank. It is important to note that the high school programs will be on public property and will not have exclusive use of the facility including the lockerrooms and restrooms, adult supervision by District staff will be required. The MOU will provide the District the ability to offer the full breadth of high school athletic programs through the completion of the pool renovations with the exception of the 2021 and 2022 summer season.”

“The City and the District will negotiate a daily user fee for the use of MCP. This cost estimate will include direct costs for lifesaving staff and swimming pool operational costs.The term of the agreement is five years, as it is the intent of both parties that the City allow the District use of the MCP until the District has reopened the BHS pool. Additionally, should the City and the District decide that the joint use of pools provide a benefit to the community, the City shall be allowed to submit a request for the use of the operational JBHS swimming pool and the BHS swimming pool once it reopens.”

“The City and the District value the joint use partnership and see a clear opportunity to utilize the MOU to benefit over 130 athletes,” Cevallos concluded. “The MCP provides a suitable venue to safely host the BHS programs as they condition and work towards achieving their athletic goals and objectives. The City looks forward to working alongside District staff to continue the support of high school athletics.”

The water temperature will be kept at around 80 degrees Fahrenheit year round, Cevallos said. Historically, the McCambridge Pool is only used for the summer season and current plans allow for only Burbank High student athelete use for the other months.

Burbank High water sports team coaches will provide sufficient adult supervision to fulfill the MOU requirement, Cavallos added.

Board Vice President Charlene Tabet referred to the ongoing joint use agreements for facilities between the City and BUSD, “It works great.”

“I think we’re headed in the right direction,” Tabet said about the McCambridge Pool/BHS MOU.

“This is our turn to help as BUSD helped us when Verdugo closed,” said Vice Mayor Jess Talamantes.

“I definitely will be supporting the school district’s request to enter into this MOU because it’s important to our students,” commented Mayor Bob Frutos.

The video and agenda for the June 8 joint Burbank City Council and Burbank Board of Education meeting can be viewed online here.