By Ana Gomez Salcido
A new aquatic center opened in National City this Saturday, June 18. The opening featured a ribbon cutting ceremony and a family day event with activities on both land and on water.
The 4,700-square foot aquatic center was built in the Port of San Diego’s Pepper Park located at the foot of Tidelands Avenue in National City.
“The big importance of the new facility is that it finally provides an opportunity for our young people to have activities on the water,” said National City Mayor Ron Morrison. “Imperial Beach got their water activities, Chula Vista’s got it, San Diego certainly has it, and Coronado has it. All the other four cities of the port had it and we didn’t have those type of activities here.”
Designed by Safdie Rabines Architects and built by Project Professionals Corporation, the facility incorporates a sleek, modern design with plenty of windows for admiring the views of the bay. The Center includes two multi-purpose classrooms that can be opened as one larger room, a storefront and office space, locker rooms with showers and restrooms, boat and equipment storage, decorative lighting, landscaping and public art.
Construction began in August 2013. The project cost was approximately $5.3 million.
The Port of San Diego provided $4.4 million from its Capital Improvement Program to fund the project and the City of National City provided the rest of the funds According to Robert “Dukie” Valderrama, Vice Chairman, Board of Port Commissioners.
National City’s Mayor said the Community Rowing of San Diego will be operating out of the facility throughout the summer, offering summer rowing camps for middle and high school age students.
“We are working to get a deal with Southwestern College so they can bring their activities from Crown Cove Aquatic Center,” said National City Mayor. “They are excited for this new facility and they are here today.”