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Shafter Aquatic Center moving swimmingly towards new building

 Shafter Aquatic Center building
Posted at 5:25 PM, Mar 18, 2024

SHAFTER, Calif. (KERO) — The city is taking aim at the Center's defunct building, planning for it's demolition and a new building in its place.

  • At the beginning of the year, 23ABC brought you a story detailing the City of Shafter's plan to renovate the Shafter Aquatic Center's pool and deck. Now, the city is taking aim at the Center's defunct building.
  • 23ABC spoke with Shafter's Public Works Director Mike James to get details on the City's approved proposal to demolish the existing building and start planning a new one.
  • James said the hope is that the demolition work and pool project can happen simultaneously, because the sooner the demolition happens, the sooner the architects can start planning the new building.
  • James said the pool project is slated to be completed during the summer of 2024, and he hopes the demolition of the defunct building can be completed on a similar timeline.


This spring forward has me thinking summer thoughts, the smell of barbecue, fresh cut grass, and dips in the pool; and it's that last one we'll be focusing on.

I'm Sam Hoyle, your Shafter neighborhood reporter. You might remember our story from the beginning of the year focused on the plan for the Shafter Aquatic Center's pool, now the city is taking aim at the building on the property.

At the last City Council meeting on March 5th, the council approved up to $140,000 in spending to both demolish the decrepit building and start the planning of building a new one.

"The timing of the demolition has yet to be determined. We're hoping that the demolition and the active pool project can coexist on the same project site and within the same timeline. So, both projects should be completed by this summer," said Mike James, the City of Shafter's Public Works Director.

While there isn't a date set for the demolition of the building just yet, James noted the reason they're hoping to have both projects run simultaneously: is it will hopefully speed up the timeline of getting a permanent building in place.

"The outcome of the demolition will assist with the design of the new building. So, the information that we gather from the demolition, the end result of the demolition, that's information that will be used by the architect that's focusing on the new building. So that's the intent is to get that done as soon as possible because ultimately that will lead to faster construction of the new facility," said James.

At this point, the pool is slated to be finished by this summer, but according to James, the building will take a little bit longer.

"There's going to be a period where we have to invest, invest time with the architecture and the design of the new building and that's anticipated to last through the summer. So, hopefully, the new building construction will be out to bid late fall and then that will allow for the construction of the new building to be completed in spring of 2025," said James.

According to James, once the pool is completed, and the building is in the process of being developed, the city plans on using an interim facility for pool operations.

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