The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation celebrated the new San Gabriel Valley Aquatic Center with a groundbreaking ceremony on July 15 in La Puente, California. The Balfour Beatty + HMC Architects design-build team, Supervisor Hilda Solis, Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, Senator Bob Archuleta local representatives, community members, and La Puente residents attended the event.  

Managed by LA County Public Works on behalf of LA County Department of Parks and Recreation, the $35 million San Gabriel Valley Aquatic Center will feature a new swimming facility and community park on a 3.1-acre site located within the former campus of Temple Academy elementary school. Balfour Beatty and HMC Architects will provide design and construction services for the aquatic center which includes the delivery of an Olympic-sized, 50-meter competitive swimming pool, a smaller practice and recreational pool, shaded bleachers and swim team areas, and state-of-the-art amenities to facilitate competitive swimming events and water sports.  

Adjacent to the pool area, an approximately 10,800-square-foot building will be constructed featuring classroom space for swim teams and community events, offices, locker rooms with showers, public restrooms, and a break area for aquatic center staff. Another building, perpendicular to the first and framing the pool area, will house the pool’s extensive mechanical and maintenance equipment. Additionally, the design-build team will deliver a one-acre park with exercise areas, a shade structure, pollinator garden, and a plaza and outdoor amphitheater for student and public use. The park will provide access to the adjacent County-owned and operated Allen J. Martin Park. The highly anticipated, joint-use community center will provide vital aquatic and recreational resources for San Gabriel Valley residents and students of Hacienda-La Puente Unified School District (HLPUSD).  

During the event, Supervisor Hilda Solis shared that this groundbreaking is a historic day for the community. As a child growing up in La Puente – without access to a nearby pool – she and her siblings would cool off with a hose and small kiddie pool in her yard and had to travel several cities over to swim in a public pool. She and the other community representatives speaking on Saturday reiterated just how important this project is and emphasized that it will bring vital services and recreation to the area’s children and seniors. Coupled with the adjacent building and park and featuring Mexican art and architecture, the project illustrates the community’s love and commitment to its citizens.

The design-build team will rely on critical community partnerships throughout construction, including collaboration between LA County’s departments of Public Works and Parks and Recreation, HLPUSD, and Active SGV, as well as the West Puente Valley community at large, to deliver a facility that supports leisure and sport swimming and inspires community engagement and wellness. Construction will be completed in Fall 2024.