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What Would a New Begg Pool Complex Look Like?

Feb 28, 2024 10:43PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Rendering via HMC Architects/City of Manhattan Beach.

Could a new Begg Pool be... two pools? That was one of the options presented at a community meeting on Tuesday night, in which city staff and consultants unveiled potential designs for a revamped public pool complex in Manhattan Beach.

Begg Pool, the site of swim lessons, lap swim, and rec swim for generations of Manhattan Beach residents, is long overdue for an overhaul. The 80-year-old pool is in physical disrepair and lacks the size and multi-use flexibility of standard modern community pools.

In August, the Manhattan Beach City Council awarded a $244,822 contract to HMC Architects to deliver a preliminary report on proposed designs and costs for a Begg Pool complex upgrade.

The firm conducted a site analysis, did a community survey, and held a community engagement meeting before developing two distinct design choices for the city.

The survey and community meeting revealed strong support for both a 35-yard pool and a 25-meter pool (and much weaker support for a "splash pad" recreation option, which was not written into the design proposal). 

The design proposals will come before the Parks and Recreation Commission on March 25 and will then go to the City Council on April 16, and then the MBUSD school board on April 17.

Also relevant to the project: Earlier this month, the City Council approved and gave seed money to a new foundation, LoveMB, that would oversee private donations for civic projects, beginning with the Begg Pool renovation.

Option 1 - One Pool

The first design option would essentially revamp the current Begg Pool complex, upgrading the current 25-yard pool, adding an entry plaza (see lead photo above), and renovating the locker rooms and mechanical stations.

A "Huddle" area would provide flexible seating in a large space with artificial turf, and new bleachers would have a shade canopy for spectators. The indoor spaces and landscaping would reflect a sand-and-water beach-themed design. The entry road off Peck would be widened and there would be 54 parking spaces, plus 10 bike spaces.

Option 2 - Two Pools

Option 2 would feature two pools, a renovated 25-yard pool and a 35-meter competition pool. A larger entry plaza would hold space for staff offices and locker rooms. 


This design would have the same elements as the one-pool design, but the parking would be cut down to 48 spaces. Parking has been an ongoing concern among regular members of the swimming community. A parking garage could be considered, but the cost is likely to push the project beyond what is feasible. 

The design firm HMC has completed more than 80 aquatic facilities over the past ten years. The firm's managing principal, Kristina Singiser, grew up in Manhattan Beach and took swim lessons and middle school PE classes at Begg Pool.

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