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University City gets a new public pool for beating the heat

A joint project between the City of San Diego and the San Diego Unified School district provided the perfect way to beat the heat Thursday afternoon, as the brand new Standley Community pool opened in University City.

Members of the University City High School swim team were first in the pool, but it’s now open for everyone.

“This is a 25 yard-by-25 meters pool — plus it also has an ADA access, and a shallow end for younger swimmers or people with disabilities,” said Lee Dulgeroff, the district’s chief facilities planning and construction officer.

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The community pool is placed right between Standley Middle School and Spreckels Elementary, with a playground, walking trails and outdoor theater space, too.

The San Diego Unified School Board started talking about this in 2014 and worked with the city of San Diego to make it happen. John Lee Evans was a trustee at that time and spoke at Thursday’s opening event.

“Living in Southern California, I don’t believe it's right for any child to go through our schools without learning how to swim, and this is the first step in terms of making that a reality,” Evans said.

The joint venture was paid for with capital bond money approved by San Diego voters to repair, renovate and revitalize neighborhood schools. This will be used by students to learn how to swim and play and possibly train for the Olympic games. The grand opening comes too late for University City High School swimmers who are about to graduate — and who have had to use different community pools for practice.

San Diego State University swimmer Mia Ryan grew up in the area. On Thursday, she held the ribbon that was eventually cut to open the pool, happy to stand in the sweltering heat for her neighborhood. “Seeing this incredibly beautiful pool for the whole community, for all our children to not only learn how to swim and using it for recreation, leaves me in awe,” she said.