Swimming Year Round!
Welcome to a site dedicated to Burbank swimming for all ages, all levels, and all team or individual needs - lap, masters' and age-group and other team swimming, aqua exercise, jogging, water polo, synchronized swimming, triathlon training.
Help our effort to keep open Verdugo and/or McCambridge Pools year round!
Our goal is to keep a Burbank pool open all year round. These are potentially great Burbank facilities and we need your help to keep them open year round.
Yes, it has been a long time without an update or report on Burbank lap swimming! "No news is good news?" Briefly:
A very positive development is the appointment of Diego Cevallos as the new Aquatics Coordinator. His office is at the Verdugo pool. He can be contacted at 818-238-5456 or by email. Our meeting with Mr. Cevallos showed him to be very experienced, professional and aware of improvements needed for both Burbank pools and its aquatic program.
Both McCambridge and Verdugo are closed, but Verdugo may open October 7, if roofing work is complete. McCambridge closed September 28. This gap could have been avoided. The McCambridge water temperature was too high all summer for even semi-serious lap swimming, but the staff finally listened to swimmers in September and the water became fine for swimming. Two week later, the pool closed!
Both McCambridge and Verdugo are open for lap swimming but check the hours. Fees, crowds and the McCambridge water temperature have increased!
December 21: Verdugo Pak pool closed this day until January 5. Since June, the opening hours and conditions have been very good! The staff was also very good this year.
It is still unclear why there are hundreds of very small lockers! For Burbank seniors, it's more expensive to swim at Verdugo than at any City of Los Angeles pool, but the drive is much shorter. The cool weather revealed a lack of any heating in the locker rooms. This and the absence of solar heating for the pool water is poor planning, in my opinion.
Plan to swim in Burbank and let the Mayor, City Council and the Director of Parks and Recreation know that year round aquatics is important and that Verdugo should remain on a full schedule permanently.
June 9: Verdugo Pak pool is open and extremely popular! We missed any opening ceremony but later visited the Verdugo pool in the June 8 afternoon. The parking lot and surrounding streets were filled with cars and the pools were filled with kids and families. I'd estimate 100-200 were in the pool or on the decks. Sunday we went for lap swimming at 11 a.m. Less than 10 lap swimmers, using the long-course layout. The pool is fine and the locker rooms are vastly improved. It's unclear why there are hundreds of lockers without usable locks! The staff said the pool is "better than" L.A. Valley College, but that can be debated. It's more expensive to swim at Verdugo than at any Los Angeles pool, but our "commute" is much shorter.
Swim in Burbank and let the City Council know that year round aquatics is important and Verdugo should remain on a full schedule permanently.
May 25: Click below to read a great story in the Burbank Leader (May 25, 2013) on Verdugo pool near-completion AND the City Council action to keep it open 11 months this year.
"After multiple delays, long awaited remodel of Verdugo Aquatic Center nearly done"
and this is an editorial in the same issue:
"Will the long wade soon be over?"
Excellent work, Leader and reporter Alene Tchekmedyian! Also due many thanks are former Mayor Dave Golonski, who supported year round aquatics for many years, current Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, and Park, Recreation and Community Services (PRCS) Director Judie Wilke and her staff.
And McCambridge Pool is indeed open for lap swimming.
May 24: An email from a Burbank Leader reporter states: "...they (City Council) approved the year round pool for a one-year pilot period to see how it goes. We will have a story on this in Saturday's paper -- and it'll probably be online today."
Complete success after all these years? Not quite, but good enough!
May 22: New notice on the PRCS aquatics webpage:
"The Verdugo Pool is scheduled to open Saturday June 1, 2013. Please check back regularly for the latest updates."
The agenda for the City Council May 23, meeting is available and shows "Year Round Aquatics Program" as the fourth item for discussion. The supporting memos are included after the agenda.
Come to the meeting and/or send an email to the City Council. See the City Council web page for email addresse(s).
The Burbank Leader published a letter to the editor/opinion titled "When will the Verdugo Pool open?" in the May 22, 2012 issue. It raises issues and asks questions similar to those on this website.
May 18: Not ready? I suppose someone needs to "test" the water slides!
May 17: The Verdugo pool has been closed since 2008. Forecasts by the Burbank City Council, Mayor and Manager said the pool would open in 2011. That was revised to 2012. With $5.2 million approved more than a year ago for construction, the pool was scheduled to open April, 2013. As recently as a few days ago, the Burbank Parks and Rec website showed the pool would be open the same date as McCambridge, May 25. Now the website states:
"NOTICE REGARDING VERDUGO POOL
The Verdugo Pool will open SUMMER 2013. Please check back regularly for latest updates."
Who pays the price for this delay? The contractor? Any Burbank city employee? More likely, it's dedicated swimmers who will make longer drives to other pools.
On a related issue, first discussed below, it was reported that Burbank City Council will consider a recommendation at a meeting next week - May 21 or May 23 - from PRCS to keep Verdugo pool open for 11 months a year. The total cost is $180,000, offset by an expected revenue increase of $145,000, for a net cost of $35,000. While it's unfortunate that this long-requested action did not become a simple line item in the 480 page 2014 budget, surely there cannot be any objection to this modest expense that will benefit many. Or perhaps swimmers don't have the same clout as golfers, who have received the benefit of at least $2 million as subsidies for the financially-troubled De Bell golf course.
This is the April 2013 report from Sean Corrigan, Chief Assistant Public Works Director/City Engineer stating the pool would be ready in May:
VERDUGO PARK AQUATIC FACILITY RENOVATION PROJECT MONTHLY UPDATE
Here are the report and exhibit about an 11-month season for Verdugo pool from Judie Wilke, Park, Recreation and Community Services Director:
DISCUSSION PAPER – YEAR ROUND AQUATICS PROGRAMING and
May 14: Verdugo Pool Grand Re-Opening - soon!?
This was sent from the City Council offices on May 14:
Burbank's Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, had sent an earlier email about a ceremony to mark the re-opening of Verdugo Park Pool. Plan to be there whenever it happens!
Also, the proposed 2013-14 budget for the City of Burbank is reported to have funding for year-around opening of Verdugo pool. We'll confirm this as soon as possible, but please contact the City Council to support this issue before the June 4 adoption vote on this budget.
It's been "swimming as usual" for a few Burbank residents since the Burbank pools closed in September - that means driving 6-8 miles each way to Glassell Park, Los Angeles Valley College or the Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks pools. When will Verdugo or McCambridge pools open?
What is the status of construction on the new Verdugo pool? The last report to the City Council was March 5 and did not include a timetable for completion.
What is the position of the candidates for the April 2013 City Council on year round swimming? Unknown!
This survey request has been on City of Burbank's Aquatics Program website since at least February. The misspelling notwithstanding, it's a good start:
"PLEASE TAKE OUR AQUATICS SURVEY. WE ARE LOOING FOR YOUR INPUT.
The City of Burbank is doing a survey for our Aquatics Program. The survey will assist the City of Burbank in determining programming needs for our community. To take this short survey please click here."
This is a March 30 letter published in the Burbank Leader:
The Burbank Leader reports City Council action on extending the swim season in the August 4, 2012 issue.
An August 1 letter to the City Council thanked them for the extension but raised and clarified several issues that a very relevant ten years after swimmer complained about the "summer-only, traditional" swim season:
Curious about what has happened on extending the swim season in Burbank over the last fifteen years? This link goes to the document "inventory"!
After complaints that McCambridge pool had lane lines out for only 4 lanes, one more lane was added for noon lap swimming on July 2 - now there are five! There were the same five lanes on July 18. On July 31, one more lane was added!
At the July 24 Council meeting, the City Council directed Park, Recreation & Community Services Department to prepare a report on extending the pool season after the scheduled Labor Day closing. This is "one small step for man"!
Posted at McCambridge pool, July 19 and a related story in the Burbank Leader, July 21, 2012:
Two Hearings: July 24, 2012 (Tuesday) – Council Chamber – 6:00 p.m. - Extension of 2012 Aquatics Season – Step One (PRCS) - see below.
This City Council agenda item (located on July 6) announces the agenda for the July 24, 2012 (Tuesday) – Council Chamber – 6:00 p.m. as the last and eighth item:
“8. Extension of 2012 Aquatics Season – Step One (PRCS)”.
If this topic seems familiar, read the "News" and "Background" pages of this website. Or go directly to "COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: We should have access to pools all year round" (June 21, 2008; more than FOUR years ago!) It's deja vu all over again!
City Council to Address Swimming
Received on June 27 from Marisa Garcia, Assistant Director, Park, Recreation & Community Services Department:
What prompted this email? See my June 22 letter to the City Council, also linked on the "News" page. In addition to swimming conditions noted below, the letter stated:
McCambridge pool opened late May. The City of Burbank reported that construction on the new Verdugo pool would start in mid-June.
Lap swimming conditions are about the same as in prior years, but the following deficiencies were reported to the City Council by letter on June 22:
By June 26, the water temperature had declined a few degrees but the shortage or marked lanes remained.
McCambridge pool, June 28, 12:43 pm, a few minutes before the end of lap swimming.
Four years of inaction seem to be the breaking point for many Burbank residents as the Burbank Leader published stories, photographs and reader letters documenting the lack of action on repairing or replacing Verdugo Pool. See the "News" link (on the left) for links to these stories. The stories included up-to-date photos of Verdugo pool, which look exactly like the empty pool photos taken in 2008!
Thanks, Burbank Leader!
What does the City of Burbank provide for news of the planned construction project on its website or elsewhere? As expected - nothing.
If YOU want more aquatic opportunities at Burbank pool(s), write to Mayor Dave Golonski and the members of the City Council. Here's a model for your letter, sent to the City Council on May 22, 2012.
According to the Lap Swim Program webpage, only the McCambridge pool will be open for (adult) lap swimming, with weekday and weekend hours from May 26 until August 12. From August 13 until September 8, only weekend hours will be available. This is the 2012 Aquatics brochure.
Pacific Community Pool in Glendale also opens on May 26. Nice pool for lap swimming! Fee in 2011 was $1!
We have seen the THIRD anniversary of an empty pool at Verdugo Park and the photos below, from September 19, 2011, could have been taken in 2008! In spite of the passage of time and bonuses paid to relevant managers at the Burbank Park, Recreation & Community Services Department, there has been NO visible progress towards providing a swimming facility for Burbank residents!
What is new for 2011? Not much in Burbank. McCambridge and Burroughs HS have schedules and fees about the same as previous years but the "season" may be slightly longer - actually open for a brief period after Labor Day! Verdugo pool remains closed and unrepaired, although a July 17 "Burbank Mailbag" (News-Press & Leader) letter from Councilman Dave Golonski stated "...construction will begin in the coming months.." After being closed for three summers, it will be nice to see some progress. Details to follow!
Meanwhile, Glendale has opened a new, very nice pool - $1 admission! Off San Fernando just south of Colorado Blvd. It's the Pacific Community Pool Los Angeles Valley College is still nicer, just a little further to drive
September 27, 2010
McCambridge Park - Air Temperature: 108+ F; Pool Temperature: 109++ F
Verdugo Park - Air Temperature: 108+ F; Pool Temperature: 109++ F
The photos above fairly well sum up the "swimming season" at the Burbank park pools, where the "tradition" is "open late, close early." On perhaps the hottest day of 2010 (or ever recorded), our pools are empty. Let's remember this early next year and remind the Parks and Recreation staff and the Burbank City Council to plan and budget for an extended - and reasonable - swimming season.
What was swimming like at the Burbank pools in the (short) 2010 summer season? Just read the reports below for 2009, but with less days of access.
Where to Swim Now? - September 2010
See the FAQ & Other Pools page.
Early 2010 - Where We Swam
For the early months of the year, I swam at the Echo Park Pool, a Los Angeles City indoor pool. Both Glassell and Van Nuys pools were closed for maintenance. Echo Park pool is relatively new, very nice, with a water temp of 84 degrees. It is about 9 miles south of Burbank - down Interstate 5 to the Glendale Freeway, exit at Glendale Blvd, and continue just 2 blocks past Temple at 1419 Colton St., Los Angeles, CA 90026. Excellent facility, but please don't come at noon; I want a lane all to myself!
Glassell Park pool appeared to be half full of (clean) water on February 18.On February 8, I swam at the San Fernando park (city) pool. Very nice, but a little cool after steady swimming at Echo Park and Valley College pools. Carol Henry reported: "We went to San Fernando today (2/11). I asked about the water temp--the big pool was 77 & the little pool was 81. She told us we could use either. We went with 81 - but you only have 3' to do a flip turn at the close end of the pool."
Lap Swimming Extended in 2009
A brochure distributed at McCambridge pool on August 8 stated lap swimming with be available evening and weekends from August 17 through October 16.
Urgent Action Required - 50 m. Pools May be Lost!
The City Council had a one hour session on the Aquatics Facility Plan Study Session report from the Park and Rec Department that included alternative "renovation" plans which would eliminate both 50 meter public pools.
The Burbank Leader reported on this session on June 23. Peter Lambert wrote to the City Council on the 50 meter pool issues. More to follow!
Burroughs Pool - July 21, 2009
Burroughs Pool - June 30, 2009
Burbank City Council Hears Pool Proposals
The agenda for the 5 pm City Council meeting is here. Note the Aquatics Facility Plan Study Session report is linked, but is a very large download.
I've looked at this report, which seems fairly complete in discussing deficiencies of both Verdugo and McCambridge pools. However, a few issues are not well-addressed:
This letter has been sent to the Council and may be used for comments at this meeting.
This is from the Burbank Sports office on June 21:
June 20, 2009 email from Jennifer, a Burbank resident, to the City Council and the Park and Rec department:
From the Burbank Sports Office, June 15, 2009:
May 13, 2009 - Water in Pool, but No Swimmers!
This is McCambridge Pool, not scheduled to open until June 15!
What's wrong with this picture?
City Council Hearing on Aquatics
According to the Park & Rec staff, "the Burbank City Council will discuss extending the 2009 aquatics season at its May 21 City Council meeting. The meeting will be held in the CSB Community Room located at 150 N. Third Street."
This email was sent to each Council member on May 21 before the meeting.
Here is the response to the questions I asked the City Council in an email sent May 19. The reply doesn't fully address the more detailed questions in the letter I sent with this email.
Burbank High School Pools Available, But...
agreement between the City and the Burbank School Board was signed on May 5, but
it doesn't do anything to lengthen the swim season - pools open June 15 and
close August 16. The full Memorandum of Understanding is here.
Other reports are towards the end of the meeting
5. This is my letter for the City Council meeting on May 19; I'll be at this meeting. Send your comments to the Burbank City Council with this email address.
2009 Burbank Aquatics Programs
The City of Burbank aquatic programs are described in the city's Aquatic Brochure. According to this (and the Burbank website), Verdugo pool has not been repaired. Therefore adult lap swimming will only be offered at one of the Burbank high school pools, pending an agreement between the city and the Burbank school district, and only after June 15.
In short, there has been no progress towards "year around swimming" and NO priority for adult lap swimming.
Here are my remarks given to the April 9 Parks, Recreation and Community Services Board meeting. Summary: McCambridge pool is vastly underutilized and there is no reason why lap swimming - and other adult activities -cannot be scheduled at McCambridge.
McCambridge Pool Status
Repairs taking place on April 9:
Verdugo Pool in Jeopardy?
See the "News" page for more on this shocking report!
Status of Burbank pools, early 2009
The following announcement was received from the Burbank Sports Office on February 18:
On February 3, 2009, City Council approved the contract documents and awarded a construction contract for the repairs at McCambridge Park Swimming Pool. Construction will take approximately 60 days to complete. Construction is scheduled to conclude prior to the opening of the 2009 aquatics season. Verdugo Park Swimming Pool will remain closed until further notice.I sent an email in return, asking:
1. What are the issues, discussions and decisions that affect repairs and
re-opening Verdugo pool?
McCambridge Pool, June 17, 2008
McCambridge Pool, January 2008 - Don't let this happen again!
In 2008, Verdugo pool opened two days "early", June 14. If you can't do anything else to support this effort, come to the pool and swim!
Counts during the summer showed lap swimming is well-supported - 19 swimmers in the first hour of the evening swim on June 17. See the "Survey" page for our summer counts.
The normal summer pool season was concluded August 24 at Verdugo pool, but lap swimming has moved to McCambridge pool, effective August 25. Hours are evenings on weekdays, 6 pm - 7:30 pm and 10:30 am - 12:30 pm on the weekends. Come swim and justify the pool use!
How swimmers got (the promise of) an extended season in 2008:
The Burbank City Council considered funding to extend swimming through October 2008 at as part of the 2008-2009 budget hearings at the June 10 and June 17 meetings. The budget was approved 4-1.
This funding was separately discussed at the June 10 Council meeting, with four swimmers urging the Council to retain this in the budget. Your support to keep this an active issue and now extend the season to a full year will always be helpful! Additionally, we have learned that the Council will be hearing a consultant's report on pool replacement at their June 24 meeting.
There was a very good showing of support for the extended swimming season at the June 3 and June 10 Council meetings from several swimmers, including Warner Brothers triathlon team members and Clay Evans during the public comment session.
Please join other swimmers and express your thoughts or send your opinions to the City Council members listed below! Please review this memo from Parks and Recreation.
Verdugo Pool, June 16, 2008 - First Weekday Noon Session, 11 swimmers!
Verdugo Pool, January 2008 - A Depressing Sight!
Please get involved in our effort to open McCambridge and/or Verdugo in the winter months!
The Burbank City Council had this issue on their agenda for January 8, 2008.
The entire meeting is on streaming video at:
Burbank Live and Archived Media Page
Relevant parts: Marianna Walton spoke at 1:18.24 and gave an
excellent history. She's been a lap swimmer in Burbank pools for years.
Read the January 2008 report from the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department:
Swimming Pool Alternatives for Year Round Programming
The "facts" presented by Garth Nelson to create the alternatives, both in his report (above) and orally are problematic:
Two Council members compared the apparent low use of the pool (only by lap swimmers) with the high costs and dismissed the concept of year around swimming. Getting swimmer (or age group) input is tied into plans for a new aquatic center.
See the January 9, 2008 story in the Burbank Leader by Jeremy Oberstein:
"Council to consider a year-round pool"
Write to Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy and the Burbank City Council!
Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy
Term Began: May 2013
Below is a notice that was posted at Verdugo pool in August, 2007. Note adult swimmers got less days of use than the kids!