Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 7, 2019

And that stands for pool

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:07 am

I had a chance to listen to the portion of the Emma Hood Swim Center agenda item yesterday and it’s pretty grim but with some good news.  The bottom line is: this facility is really old and it needs to be replaced.

Emma Hood, for those that aren’t familiar, is located on the Alameda High site.  While it’s typically associated with the school district, it’s heavily used by non AUSD groups.   From the presentation on Tuesday night:

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 4.27.09 PM

Because of can kicking, Emma Hood has reached the point where the County Department of Health can no longer ignore the health risks posed by this very old facility including some sort of water pumping issue which means that the water in the pool is not filtered fast enough which sounds actually pretty gross.

The Health Department will allow the pool to remain open as long as it’s actively fixing the major issues and has a long term plan for full replacement of the pools.

Here are some costs for repairs and how much it would cost to just replace the existing pools:

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 4.32.38 PM

There are a lot of options for both the City Council and the School Board to consider for this particular property.  There is going to an ad hoc subcommittee formed to both consider the short term plan and long term plan for this pool.   One of the more interesting long term options being batted around is to turn it into a real aquatics center of the indoor variety so it could be used year round.  This would be run by the Rec and Park Department and would expand the ability to program throughout the day to better serve the community.  This is the most expensive option though topping that $7 million projection above.

Regardless of what these bodies end up opting to do clearly only having one public swim center in Alameda is really not a great option.  Something must be done and there is not the money lying around to do it.

While we have some folks trying to justify that money will just come from nowhere to turn buildings into open space in order to prevent the Wellness Center from coming arguably projects like this and finishing the Sweeney Open Space park is much more critical to the community.


  1. newsflash: AUSD has no money. Special Ed Director forced out along with Superintendent McPhetridge. Cost overruns. Financials in disarray. Lowest paid teachers in Bay Area. Continues to lease pricey Marina Village offices and keeps pouring money into old Alameda High like the Winchester Mystery House. City politics controlled by Fire Department which continues to lobby for more staffing. Pool repairs? Children? Can’t wait for the progressive response from JKW, Ashcraft, Vella, and Oddie. Swimming used to be an Alameda value.

    Comment by Nowyouknow — March 7, 2019 @ 6:46 am

    • The response, as I mentioned above, is to form an ad hoc subcommittee to tackle the short term issues (immediate fixes to satisfy county health) and long term (some sort of pool replacement).

      Comment by Lauren Do — March 7, 2019 @ 8:08 am

      • Lauren. Are you planning to comment on McPhetridge “resigning” ? Silence is deafening as they say. There is seldom unanimity around moves like this in Alameda. Maybe this is just one of those times, but Alamedan’s always have another opinion. I’m agnostic until I learn more.

        Also, I may be wrong as I do not follow things as closely as I used to, but I heard a decision was made to purchase “pricey” Marina Village offices. Can anybody verify that ?

        Comment by MI — March 7, 2019 @ 9:44 am

        • I feel like this is one of those situations when you have nothing good to say about the person you don’t say anything and since he’s on his way out anyway it would be akin to beating a dead horse. Given our challenges years ago, which I think I wrote about on this blog, with enrollment shenanigans at Ruby Bridges suffice it to say I was not the biggest fan.

          Comment by Lauren Do — March 7, 2019 @ 10:09 am

        • AUSD did purchase the property. A few years late in my opinion since they would saved at least a million dollars.

          Comment by Mike McMahon — March 7, 2019 @ 10:52 am

        • Care to remind us what those enrollment challenges were?

          Comment by dave — March 7, 2019 @ 11:00 am

        • The district was unilaterally shutting down one K class and one 2nd grade (or maybe it was 1st). This was after many reports of families being diverted during the summer to other schools because RB was purportedly “overenrolled.” The number of diversions alone would have filled that K class and 2nd grade class. Meetings were held with the superintendent at the homes of parents but it required escalation to the School Board to make a difference.

          Comment by Lauren Do — March 7, 2019 @ 12:06 pm

        • O.K., not perfect. I hope his replacement is an improvement. The news about changes in special ed in the Sun this a.m. was not good in terms of notifying parents on short notice, but I don’t know if that buck stops with Superintendent. I heard the late purchase of the Marina Village property didn’t help Sean case either.

          Comment by MI — March 7, 2019 @ 12:40 pm

  2. I would be inclined to support the full replacement/new aquatics center option, since it would meet CIF requirements. The $5.2 – $7 million replacement cost is steep but has a better cost-benefit return than spending almost as much ($3.6 million) on yet another temporary “bubble-gum-and-bailing-wire” fix.

    As Lauren stated, we are better off investing limited recreation dollars in two “birds in the hand” (building a new aquatics center at AHS and completing the Jean Sweeney Open Space) than spending $11 million on a “bird in the bush” surplus federal office complex whose potential recreational and community benefits are questionable at best — and which would require rezoning and a host of other changes to “convert” into recreational space.

    I appreciate the county Health Department’s willingness to support Alameda and permit the Emma Hood Center to operate as long as we are actively pursuing current repairs and long-term replacement/upgrade options.

    And pay no attention to the troll. That kind of conspiratorial emotionalism does nothing to actually solve real-world problems…

    Comment by Jon Spangler — March 7, 2019 @ 8:48 am

  3. So once Alameda finally gets a dispensary, what is all that extra sales tax money going to be used for? Seems like a new aquatics center would be perfect counter balance to provide the youth with something to do.

    Comment by michonnekatana — March 7, 2019 @ 3:56 pm

    • Hey, keep your mitts off our money!

      Comment by IAFF 689 — March 7, 2019 @ 5:14 pm

    • Dispensary taxes are like the land at Alameda Point (“just put it at the base!”)… they’ve been spent ten times over already. It is like when Republican politicians say they’ll pay for their plans by “cutting waste and abuse” or Democrats that have allocated “increasing taxes on the 1%” for nine hundred priorities.

      Comment by BMac — March 7, 2019 @ 6:27 pm

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