La Jolla’s beloved aquatic complex was not something that arose overnight. It was a collaborative community effort that took time, dedication and — of course — serious fundraising efforts.
“The high school never had a pool, so in 1999, the city and the school got together and agreed that they would find a piece of property at La Jolla High School to build a pool,” said Masis Kevorkian, president of the La Jolla Aquatic Complex Foundation. “One LJHS family in particular stepped up and said they would give $1 million toward the pool, and that started Project S.P.L.A.S.H, which ultimately raised all the funds needed to build the facility.”
Now, at a time when many of the city’s pools have closed due to costly insurance, high heating bills and budget shortfalls over the years, the Coggan Family Aquatic Complex continues to thrive. Always buzzing with activity, the complex hosts daily public recreational swimming, masters swim classes, club swim teams, water polo practice and tournaments, water aerobics, and group and private swim lessons for all ages and abilities.
“Having a community pool that is open to the public that benefits the high school and anyone who wants to use the pool in a place like La Jolla is just a unique opportunity,” said Kevorkian. “Being in and around water in San Diego, whether it’s the bay or the ocean, I think being comfortable in the water and teaching young people and adults how to be comfortable in water is important and something that we take very seriously.”
Some new swimmers at the complex got their start as late as 50 years old, said Kevorkian, proving that it’s never too late to learn new tricks.
“It’s always so amazing how diverse the clientele is, and it fosters good will. People are in a good mood, they’re exercising and we have great weather here 365 days a year,” he said.
To keep churning out great watermen and women, alongside a handful of Division 1 water polo players and collegiate swimmers that got their start at the pool, the Coggan Family Aquatic Complex is in need of continued community support for the regular upkeep of its facility and anticipated maintenance and repair, like re-plastering the pool.
“Right now, everything we’re doing is raising money for our capital reserves to help offset the budget deficit and everything we do to operate the pool on a daily basis,” said Kevorkian. “The pool is in very good condition. We’ve done a great job maintaining it. However, we know things need to be done in the next three to five years. Any way people are involved really benefits the aquatic complex.”
With the complex’s 10-year ann-iversary celebration coming up, one easy way for people to help continue the legacy of their neighborhood pool is to attend the upcoming Aquatic Luau from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Oct. 6. The event will feature live music by Simeon Flick and Aja Lee, a deck-side luau feast catered by Dennis Doyle Catering, and entertainment by master of ceremonies Michael Halloran of 91X in a beach chic atmosphere. Tickets to the event are $75 per person with sponsorship and VIP parking opportunities available. To RSVP, visit www.cogganaquatics.org or call (858) 456-0945 for more information.
Donations can also be made directly on the complex’s website or by calling Anna Siperstein, staff and program director at (858) 456-0945 ext. 11. All donations are tax deductible and donors will be recognized for one year on the donor board, website and electronic scoreboard during major events.