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ROOSEVELT HIGH SCHOOL POOL
456 S. MATHEWS STREET (map)
(JUST OFF I-5 AT 4TH ST. AND SOTO)
LAP SWIMMING SCHEDULE (FOR SUMMER 2010 – check website above for changes):
MON-FRI: 1 – 5pm, 7 – 9pm
SAT-SUN: 12 – 6pm
DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR
MON-FRI: 3.30 - 8.30 pm
SAT-SUN: 1 - 5 pm
OPEN YEAR-ROUND / OUTDOOR / HEATED
COST: $2.50 / $2.00 w/ library card (KIDS & SENIORS FREE)
ADULT LAP PASS = $55 / 30 admissions
This Olympic-size pool is located in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of east LA, on the grounds of Roosevelt High School. (It is not to be confused with the pool at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which is worthy of its own post.) Like other pools I have discussed, it was recently renovated by the city at a cost of $2 million, according to egpnews.com. It is open year-round, though the schedule changes during the school year, for obvious reasons. I like this place - its clean and simple, but what makes it special is that it is the only public pool I know of that features long-course swimming. There are only 3 lanes roped off but they are hardly ever busy, because you have to be a little hardcore to swim 50 meter lengths. Talk about a work-out!
After parking on the street or walking down from Soto Station (take the Metro Gold Line), you can enter the high-fenced pool area through a metal gate that leads directly to the cashier and changing areas. The changing area is interesting - most notably, it has no roof! So you just have to do your thing there more or less al fresco. (There are some heaters installed up high, but I’ve never seen them in use.) It is very clean and colorful, with lots of 70s wall tiling - a plus in my book. There are a few benches (no stalls), a few push-button showers (which take a little while to warm up, I noticed) and an attendant window where you can check your stuff in exchange for a safety pin. No mirrors and no outlets though, so finish up your toilette at home!
Once you come out on the deck, you realize just how huge this pool really is. There is lots of space to hang out as well, but take note: there is virtually no shade anywhere! And that concrete can sure get hot. It’s probably not a bad idea to wear your flip-flops out in order to avoid burning the crap out of your feet. And if you want to work on your tan, this is a great spot to do it. They have pull buoys for use, though I haven’t seen any kickboards around. Lastly, there is a diving board in the rec swim area. I always like to dive off at the end of my workout, just like one of the kids. Fun!