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East Oakland Sports Center Breaks Ground; Congrats To Councilmember Larry Reid

The East Oakland Sports Center has been a goal of Councilmember Larry Reid for a decade. Now, it's going to be a reality. This is the Oakland Tribune's account:

OAKLAND — Plans for a 25-meter East Oakland swimming pool and athletics center, in the works for decades as planners struggled to raise the cash to pay for it, finally broke ground Monday.

The ceremony marked the beginning of construction for the East Oakland Sports Center, a $24 million project at 9175 Edes Ave., at Brookfield Village Park.

"It's the community that dreamed of this place, and that dream, those people are responsible for why we're finally building it," said Councilmember Larry Reid (Elmhurst-East Oakland), whose work many credited as responsible for the project's long-awaited arrival.

Community members began pushing for the project in 1976, when a neighborhood pool closed and children began swimming in a nearby estuary, community representative Jacquee Castain said.

"It was so nasty and contaminated," Castain said. "Kids were talking about being Olympic gold-medal swimmers but we had nowhere to learn."

"A lot of kids from East Oakland still don't know how to swim," said Melvin Landry of Oakland's Office of Parks and Recreation. "If you don't get in a pool when you're young, you're not going to get into one when you're older."

Clarence Mamuyac, principal of ELS Architecture and Urban Design and the person in charge..More
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