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LANARK POOL WON'T REOPEN TILL 2007.

Byline: Dana Bartholomew Staff Writer

CANOGA PARK - City officials on Wednesday approved $4.4 million to renovate a Canoga Park swimming pool damaged by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.

The hitch: It will take two years to design and construct the Lanark Park pool, closed four years ago because of leaks.

``I tell you, it's been frustrating getting the money,'' said City Councilman Dennis Zine, who had hoped to see children swimming in the Canoga Park pool by 2006.

``I just can't understand all the red tape. It's not like you have an EIR (environmental impact report). It's like taking the tire off a car - you take one pool out, and you put another one in.''

The city approved $783,000 in Community Redevelopment Agency funds, final installment needed to fix the 46-year-old Lanark Park pool.

The 60-foot-by-120-foot pool was drained in 2001 because of damage from the Northridge Quake.

City engineers say it'll take nine months to design a new pool and bathhouse, then an additional four months to secure a bid for construction expected to begin June 2006.

``Kids'll be in the pool in June 2007,'' said Fred David, a project manager for the Bureau of Engineering, who said it normally takes a year to break ground on a pool. ``This is already ahead of schedule.''

Four other pool projects are also in the works, including two in the San Fernando Valley.

The Northridge swimming pool, closed in 2000, is expected to open as a $4.9 million aquatic center in 2006. Groundbreaking is scheduled for June. The Reseda pool, now undergoing construction of an $800,000 bathhouse, is expected to open in June.

Neil Drucker, BOE project manager for city recreation and parks projects, said building pools is a No. 1 priority - but designing them is not like swapping tires.

``The problem is, we have lots of cars and not enough people to change the tires,'' he said.

Zine, however, said constituents in Canoga Park need their pool.

``We have a park that used to have a terrible reputation for drugs, crime and violence,'' he said. ``Now that we've cleaned it up, we now have a bureaucracy that is holding up the replacement pool.

``We need it for the kids. We need it for the youth to stay out of trouble during the summer months.''

Dana Bartholomew, (818) 713-3730

dana.bartholomew(at)dailynews.com
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 21, 2005
Words:396
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