Aquatic Center Opens

April 1st was not April Fool’s day at Besant Hill School, as the school officially open the Lee Sanders Aquatic Center with an all-school celebration!

Students, faculty, and staff got their first chance to enjoy the $2 million dollar facility, which includes a 25m seven lane competitive swim pool, a 20 ft by 25ft shallow recreation pool area, and plenty of deck space to take in the Southern California Sun (with sunscreen applied of course). The pool is also regulation water polo size allowing it to be flexible for many potential uses in the future. A changing and restroom building located just off the pool deck gives students the convenience to change and use the restroom without having to return to their dormitories to prepare for swimming activities. Wonderful views of the Besant Hill campus, the Topa Topa Mountains, and the Ojai Valley can be seen from every area of the pool deck, as the placement of the facility is perfect to maximize the natural aesthetics.

“Students have been dreaming about this facility for a long time, and over the past four years we have gotten very serious about reaching this goal for our community,” said Head of School, Randy Bertin. “The time has come for there to be a pool in Happy Valley – seeing our students enjoy it today is certainly a moment to remember.”

The Aquatic Center brings all of the schools fitness and sports activities into one corner of campus. It is surrounded by the basketball and tennis courts, weight training areas, and soccer and other playing fields.

Today’s grand opening was the culmination of the pool construction project which broke ground in September, 2015. Bertin added, “The past few months have quickly brought about this new facility to the campus, and Mcgillivray Construction certainly deserves kudos for making this happen, but a huge amount of credit goes to Besant Hill Business Officer, Alex Smith, who was on the job site daily and involved in every step of the process making sure that every detail was attended to – Alex deserves big thanks for his work on the project.”

“This facility is uniquely Besant Hill, as its design ties into the rest of our campus, while still allowing for maximum functionality” said Bertin. “We are excited to officially open the aquatic center gates for the first time and give our students a new pool facility that will serve their recreation and fitness needs for many years to come.”

The Lee Sanders Aquatic Center was named for Happy Valley School Alumnus Lee Sanders ’61 who recently included the school in his estate. Lee was one of the first members of the school’s heritage club, which is made of individuals who make planned gifts to Besant Hill School of Happy Valley as part of their Estate Planning. Lee passed away in September of 2014 and will be remembered for helping to make the dream of a pool on the school’s campus a possibility.