Arcadia High School officially opened its new aquatics center and sports medicine complex on Sept. 11 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, ending years of construction of new facilities that include the Science Building and the Performing Art Center (PAC).
“I am proud to say how beautiful and how fortunate the district is to have facility at a world-class level,” said Superintendent Mr. David Vannasdall during the ceremony.
Definitely, the new pool is much larger, with dimensions of 25 yards by 33 meters along with varying depths from 3.5 to 7 feet. These new dimensions unlike the old pools meet the new depth requirements, qualifying Arcadia to host more swim meets. Additionally, the extra space means AHS can do home water polo games for the first time and host CIF games as well.
More sophisticated, however, are the sensors at the end of each swim lane which are wired directly to the scoreboard. “With these sensors,” said Mr. Michael Brewer, the building manager of the pool, “we are able to time the athlete’s swim time to as close as the millisecond,” which ensures accuracy and integrity in the swim competitions.
With this Olympic-level addition is the scoreboard itself—an electronic scoreboard located at the south end of the pool. Before, much of the scoring was done manually on held signs, obviously a hassle for the home team. Now, all of that “will be much, much easier,” said Mr. Brewer.
Coach Janice Clark, head of both the water polo and swim teams, pointed out extra bonuses that resulted from the construction. For instance, the swim team now has its own bathrooms, “which is good because the teams now don’t have to walk all the way to the P.E. locker rooms,” said Ms. Clark. There are new outside showers and new systems as well that control the level of chlorine, once a big problem in the old pools.
Most importantly, though, “we can finally stay home on campus to practice and compete,” said Ms. Clark, referring to how in the past few years, the teams had to go off-campus to swim due to the construction.
Senior Royal Gong, a member of both the swim and water polo teams, was satisfied, commenting on how “it is nice to be able to play in a good pool” that is upgraded from before. Non-athlete students as well, such as junior Jennifer Zhou, generally liked how “the pool looked a lot nicer” and how it matched the rest of the school’s upgrades.
In addition to the pool is the new Career Technical Education (CTE) Sports Medicine Complex, a building designed to support athletes and the AHS Sports Medicine class. There are weight training rooms among other broad open spaces “that can very possibly be used by Cheer or Color Guard,” said Mr. Brewer. In short, as Mr. Vannasdall explained, it is “a facility that will support all Arcadian athletes as they train.”
Both the complex and the pool are a culmination of the Measure I Bond, an approximate $218 million initiative approved by voters to fund new buildings and facilities within the Arcadia Unified School District. The complex and the pool are the final two of many facilities that have been built from this.
Mr. Vannasdall describes his vision of the bond as creating “facilities that match our high ranked programs. He mentioned how, for instance, the theater program was winning numerous awards, “yet, for years, they’ve been practicing out of a small black room.” As a result, the PAC was built to match that same high-tier quality. “The same goes for our athletic teams,” said Mr. Vannasdall. “With these world class programs and performances, students have deserved the right to have world class facilities.”
Indeed, the new pool and the new sports medicine complex have definitely fulfilled this goal.
Additional photos available here.
Story by AUSD Digital Communications Intern Titus Wu