OCEANSIDE, Calif. – Facing resounding community pressure, Oceanside City Council on Wednesday voted 4-1 in favor of funding both a new aquatics center and an older community pool that was at risk of shutting down for good.
Work on the new El Corazon Aquatics Center featuring competition-level amenities, locker rooms and spectator seating is set to be completed by August. The suggestion to close the Brooks Street Swim Center — which has been around since the 1950s — was an option to provide more funding for the new center.
Community members rallied Wednesday afternoon in support of the Brooks Street pool remaining open while evening callers expressed concern over the potential closure during the meeting.
Council was provided several options, ranging from closing down the Brooks Street Swim Center to limiting operations to just seasonally, but ultimately they voted to keep both facilities. Only Councilmember Chris Rodriguez dissented.
The vote was a hard-earned victory for dozens of Oceanside residents who’d fought to save the pool.
“The USA Swimming Foundation found that 64% of children of color cannot swim,” said Jodi Diamond, CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Oceanside. Demographics at the Boys and Girls Club include 63% of children of color with an additional 13% identifying as two or more races, according to Diamond.
“Taking funding out of a poor neighborhood to augment resources in a wealthier neighborhood shows a complete disregard for equity,” she said.
Resident Shari Mackin was among those arguing to keep Brooks Street open.
“It serves an underserved neighborhood and I adamantly oppose taking one dime out of Brooks Street pool for a more affluent neighborhood,” Mackin said.