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National City bayfront to bustle even more Allison K. Sampite | Sat, Sep 17 2011 12:00 PM

National City residents will have a lot more to do come spring of 2013.

Last week, City Council members approved a memorandum of understanding with the San Diego Unified Port and two major contracts in preparation for the city's long-awaited aquatic center.

National City Mayor Ron Morrison said the center will add another element in changing the face of the city's bayfront.

The 4,700-square-foot facility located in the Port's Pepper Park on Goesno Place will give residents and visitors increased access to the waterfront through kayaking, rowing, and environmental education courses, as well as provide an opportunity for underprivileged youth to interact with nature.

The center also contains green components, which include the placement of walls and windows as well as using the ocean breeze to provide natural air conditioning. In addition, the latest in high efficiency utilities, light fixtures and other environment-friendly equipment is being incorporated.

City Manager Chris Zapata said the center is significant to the community in that the city is finally achieving its goal of quality of life for residents along the bayfront, which will also be available for public community events.

"It's a continuation of the work the City Council has done to make the bayfront better," he said. He also said the project is unique in that the city has had little access to water recreation other than Pepper Park.

National City's Aquatic Center has been in the works for more than a decade and accents Pier 32 Marina and Marina Gateway improvements.

National City currently operates an aquatic center near Pepper Park in temporary structures. The South Bay Family YMCA has provided programming there since 2004.

The new and improved center offers indoor and outdoor classroom spaces, boat and equipment storage, maintenance areas and a storefront for National City police.

Approximately $3.3 million in redevelopment agency tax allocation bonds, paid by National City residents and $830,000 in matching capital development funds from the Port, funded the project.

The lease covers a total land area of 8,412 square feet in Pepper Park along the Sweetwater Channel.

Since 2004, the Port District and city of National City have been working to develop the center. To date, the district has approved a Port master plan, issued a coastal development permit and granted a 30-year lease to the city from Jan. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2040, with one five-year option to extend the lease.

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dean Says:

Wed, Sep 21 2011 12:42 PM

Why don't you cover the National City Bears Semi Pro Football team ? Or do you there record now is 5-1.

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