Heard about Garden Grove Mayor Bruce Broadwater’s plan to build a large new pool and sports center in town? Don’t get your flippers out yet.
“It’s still in the embryonic stage,” according to Kimberly Huy, community services director for the City of Garden Grove. “We’re looking at a lot of sites.”
Such a facility would likely not mean a new park, but a reuse of existing parkland, she said. There are many competing possibilities.
“The police department would like to see some additional facilities at Woodbury Park,” located in the south-central part of the city in a working class area. ‘But I’m not sure there’s enough parkland for that.”
She acknowledges that West Garden Grove residents have voiced complaints that there isn’t enough open space on that side of town. “But most of the parks there are tucked inside of residential neighborhoods and space for parking is really limited.”
The biggest consideration, she thinks, is where there’s room. A large pool – perhaps not quite an Olympic-sized facility – will also need some space for patrons to shower off, although a full locker room and indoor shower facility is unlikely.
“They’re very expensive and not used very much,” she said.
There are several small pools owned and operated by the city; one possibility would be to expand an existing pool. Pools are at Eastgate and Woodbury parks.
Another possibility would be to build a facility in combination with an existing school site. “You build a gymnasium and sports center and they’re empty during the day; young people are in school,” she said. She said she’s begun conversations with Dr. Laura Schwalm, superintendent of the Garden Grove Unified School District about such a combined facility that could be available for public use in the evenings and weekends.
Mayor Broadwater announced his plans for the new recreation facilities at the State of the City address on Jan. 29, although he also discussed it in an interview with the Journal before that.