Booster

Vandalism saddens Olympic pool owner

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Someone used spray-paint last week to scrawl "Save Oly" on the pavement at the soon-to-be-demolished Olympic Swim Club.
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For the first time in more than two decades, Olympic Swim Club's owners have hired night security in response to recent break-ins and instances of vandalism.

"We haven't even had to think about (security)," co-owner and pool manager Newt Jones said Aug. 20.

He said the step is being taken with reluctance as the final season for the 76-year-old facility at 3450 Indianola Ave. draws to a close.

The storied swim club will be shut down for good after Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 1.

Plans for the 2.34-acre site involve a $23 million redevelopment into a four-story, 152-unit apartment building with retail and restaurant space on the ground floor.

At least some of the vandalism, Jones said, would appear to come from people who are opposed to the closing of the pool.

Someone broke in at night or early in the morning last week and spray-painted "Save Oly" on the south end of the pool deck. In addition, the vandal came armed with a stencil that replicates the facility's recognizable dive platform; it was spray-painted on buildings and slides.

Jones pointed out that those seeking to preserve the swim club aren't helping their cause by defacing it.

"The thing that kind of upset me was coming in and vandalizing," Jones said. "There was a lot of thought put into that and to me, someone has a lot of anger toward us, and that makes me sad."

The pool's concession stand has been broken into "four or five times" dating back several weeks, he added. Some food was stolen in those instances, but the burglars also left freezers standing open, resulting in thawed items having to be thrown out.

Overnight Aug. 19-20, someone threw bottles onto the pool deck, resulting in shattered glass having to be cleaned up by employees before the club could open, Jones said.

"It's uncalled for," he added. "I'm not sure why people feel they've got to do something like that to get attention."

Total damage so far, the co-owner estimated, has been about $500.

"It's not a huge loss; it's just the aggravation and the fear that someone's going to get hurt," Jones said.

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