October 18, 2003 —
Mayor Cameron Smyth and members of the Santa Clarita City Council, Parks Commission, staff, the William S. Hart Union High School District governing board, Southern California Edison
(Fred Trueblood III) and youngsters
participate in the grand opening of the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center at the George A. Caravalho Santa Clarita Sports Complex.
About the Santa Clarita Sports Complex.
The city of Santa Clarita's centrally located regional sports complex began to move off of the drawing board and into reality when the 10-year-old city closed escrow October 15, 1997, on a 20-acre property that had been home to a Merle Norman Cosmetics Co. packaging plant at 26407 Golden Valley Road, in the Ruether Avenue industrial area south of Soledad Canyon Road.
The acquisition coincided with a severe El Niño weather event that wreaked havoc throughout the city (and irreparably damaged Beale's Cut), so the City Council voted to convert one existing building into a temporary winter homeless shelter and awarded a $1.7 million contract to BEGL Construction Co. Inc. to remodel a second, 22,000-square foot warehouse to include two adult basketball courts, four racquetball courts, locker rooms, showers and restroom facilities, and add more square footage for a lobby, public counter, office, janitorial room and more restroom facilities. It opened in December 1998.
Next came the Santa Clarita Activities Center. Working from a Sports Complex Master Plan that was developed in 1998-99 with heavy community input, the council then awarded a $2.385 million contract to Baltimore Construction Inc. on August 22, 2000, to convert the first building into an arena, a large community room, multi-purpose rooms, a teen arcade area, and various recreational activity rooms.
Meanwhile, on June 27, 2000, the City Council authorized the purchase of an adjacent 38-acre site from Ruether Avenue Business Park (Bob Sawyer, Peter Tartaglino and Robert Allen). On October 24, 2000, the council awarded a $506,000 contract (later $671,000) to WLC Architects to design the remaining features identified in the master plan including a regional Aquatics Center, relocation of a temporary skateboard park, BMX course, adventure play area and other improvements.
Buildout of the 1998-99 master plan for the George A. Caravalho Santa Clarita Sports Complex — named for the city's first permanent city manager — started March 26, 2002, when the council awarded a $7,269,266 contract to Fedcon General Contractors Inc. for the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center.
Three swimming pools contain more than 1 million gallons of water: an Olympic-sized, 50-meter by 25-yard competition pool; a 25-yard by 25-meter multiuse pool with one three-meter and two one-meter diving boards; and an activity pool with a zero-depth entry and water play features including a red, two-story, 168-foot water slide. Each pool operates completely independently from the others, with separate filtration, heating, piping and chemical addition systems. The construction project included a building to house aquatics staff and serve as a visitor center, a concession building with restrooms, parking and access roads, connecting walkways, signage and landscaping, and a future gymnasium pad area integrated into an existing slope to the south of the pool area.
The year-round Aquatics Center opened October 18, 2003, offering recreation programs such as affordable swimming lessons; youth-team sports (swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming); junior lifeguard programs; lap swim; water exercise; kayaking; underwater hockey; adult water polo; water-safety training classes; recreational swim; and group and party rental opportunities. Outside user groups including Masters' and U.S. Swimming hold multiday swim meets at the site, attracting thousands of participants and spectators each year. Partnerships between the city and the William S. Hart Union High School District allow pool and gymnasium use by high school swim teams and city sports leagues.
In March 2009, an expanded, 40,000-square-foot skate park opened at the Sports Complex with large bowls, a street plaza, half-pipe tunnel, snake runs, skate-able planters and more.
In December 2015, with conference, banquet and wedding party facilities sorely lacking throughout the community, the city rebranded the Activities Center as "The Center on Centre Pointe Parkway" to reflect its conversion into a flexible banquet facility that can accommodate groups of 12 to 400 persons. Four banquet-conference rooms come equipped with tables, chairs, dance floor, PA system, projector, screen, pipe and drape, and stage; kitchen facilities are available for an additional fee.