John J. Kennedy Pool

  • Pasadena, California
  • City of Pasadena

The John J. Kennedy Pool and pool building provides recreational opportunities in a largely disadvantaged community and fosters a healthy lifestyle for residents of all ages and abilities.

Located in the northwest part of Pasadena where all the city’s low-income housing is located, residents have lacked accessible, low-cost recreation options and have few opportunities otherwise. Through an extensive community engagement process, the new 4,141-square-foot municipal pool and pool house renovations accommodates the year-round programming desired by Pasadena residents including swim lessons, water aerobics, parent-and-me classes, recreational and lap swimming, lifeguard training, and a youth and teen community center.

Supporting a safe, vibrant, attractive and progressive community and strengthening community identity were the goals that guided the design and upgrade of the facility, which had fallen into severe disrepair. Reconfigured and renovated to provide ADA compliance upgrades and improvements to the facility’s functionality, shower rooms were converted to meet ADA standards and two new family-friendly, gender neutral restrooms with showers were added. It also created space for new first aid and staff locker rooms, an ADA-compliant path-of-travel to the pool, and an additional Community Recreation Room for youth and teens to hangout, play games, and do homework. Building finishes, exterior and interior, were updated throughout, elevating the aesthetic quality of the facility to inspire pride and dignity for the residents.

The pool itself has been completely redesigned to provide access and recreation for the entire community—regardless of age or ability. The new pool is now able to operate year-round and features a zero-depth entry leading to a three-to-five-foot area conducive for recreational swimming and water aerobics. Four dedicated 25-meter swim lanes also serve as a half-court water polo area, and a nine-foot-deep end can accommodate lifeguard training. Programming now includes swim lessons for all ages (toddlers through adults), water aerobics, parent-and-me classes, as well as recreational and lap swimming.

Project Specs

Site Area:11 acres
Building Area:4,141 sqft pool | 3,744 sqft pool building


2024 Gold Nugget Merit Award, Best Recreational Use Facility, Public/Municipal

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