Skip to Content

City of Holtville reopens Gene Layton City Pool after two years of closure

With the help of grants and donations from local organizations, the city pool was reconditioned after necessary maintenance - CBS 13 On Your Side's Vanessa Gongora reports

HOLTVILLE, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - The City of Holtville held a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning to commemorate the grand reopening of the Gene Layton Pool for the 2022 summer swim season.

Nick Wells, Holtville City Manager, says the pool had been closed nearly for two years because of COVID reasons from the start, but significant degradation had occurred from over 60 years so the pool needed mandatory maintenance.

"We had made the determination that there were too many leaks and too many corrosion problems and we decided we needed to do some rebuilding of the pool in the first place," says Wells. "Even if the COVID issue had not happened, we would not be able to open."

He says they have to pass a rigorous check with the County of Imperial before they open every year and the last four or five years, they had a difficult time passing because of structural issues with the pool, so reconditioning the pool was mandatory.

With funding from the 2018 State Parks Bond Per Capita Grant, a donation from the Imperial Irrigation District, Woman's Club of Holtville, local funding and donations from the community, the reconstruction of the pool was able to happen and come to fruition.

Joan Thornburg, former president of the Woman's Club of Holtville, says their club donated $500 toward the restoration of the bathrooms and will be paying for all the kids admission into the pool on re-opening day. They also provided cookies, water and lemonade.

"Our club felt very strongly that we needed this pool in town. We have nothing else for children like a lot of places have miniature golf, bowling alleys, we don't have any of this things," says Thornburg. "We don't even have a movies. So it's really important we have this pool."

According to Wells, the State Parks Bond afforded the city a little over $175,000 to work on the project.

The money didn't officially come through until February 2022 and that's when the project took off and was finished within four months.

Wells says the reconstruction of the pool itself was completed by Exquisite Pools Custom Creations of El Centro under a $264,000 contract. The owner of Exquisite Pools, Alex Garrido, also provided multiple additions beyond the contract scope as a donation to the youth of Holtville.

The construction was completed just prior to the close of Holtville schools, giving local youth a needed summer recreation option.

"We try to do things that are a priority to the community and make things work for the residents of Holtville," Wells says.

The Mayor of Holtville, Mike Pacheco, says the whole community is excited for the pool to be back.

"It's a good thing for our kids to have especially with this summer and this kind of weather. It's going to be 110 today," says Pacheco. "The kids had big smiles and they wanted to jump in right away and so it was exciting."

One 4th grade student Parker Taylor says he's been waiting for this day for months and did a cannonball into the pool as soon as the gates opened.

"It felt really good, nice to get out of the heat," says Taylor.

Wells said it's always difficult to hire a fleet of lifeguards. He was concerned and didn't want to hire people, then not know when they were going to start because he could face losing them at the last minute to another organization. So Wells did something a little different this year.

"I knew I had several reserve firefighters that had been lifeguards for the city in the past so I had them make sure they were re-certified and so all of our lifeguards are already on our staff for the Holtville Firefighters and are kind of pulling double duty right now," Wells said.

As of right now, the city pool hours Sunday-Saturday are 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. then will open back up at 12:30 p.m. and go until about 4 p.m. The hours are subject to change due to staffing or weather conditions.

Author Profile Photo

Vanessa Gongora

Skip to content