Diving Head First into New Educational Opportunities
Soboba Aquatics Center makes a splash as it reignites the aquatics program at San Jacinto High School and opens its gates for community use. Prior to the new aquatic center, students had to walk or be bused half a mile to Salle Park, the only community pool in San Jacinto. Unfortunately, the pool was closed in 2014 eliminating the high school’s aquatic program and leaving the community without a pool.
District and community members dreamt of a new pool for over twenty years but faced numerous funding challenges. In 2016, residents approved Measure Y, a bond measure to increase student safety, instruction, and learning. Additionally, the aquatics center was named after the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians who graciously contributed the remaining $1 million to make the project a reality.
Our goal was to design a state-of-the-art aquatics center that would support new educational programs and be accessible to the community. The Soboba Aquatics Center is a modern open shelter with cool steel and alloy beams and an angled composite panel at the entry inspired by the nearby San Jacinto foothills. It’s environmentally friendly, fosters wellbeing, and creates opportunities for connection. The design helps create a strong sense of identity and reinforces a sense of place. The main color is a bright and energizing orange—the school color—and we balanced the palette with tangerine and two hues of blue.
The Soboba Aquatics Center opened in August 2019 and stands as an oasis in the desert. “It’s not just about a pool,” said Diane Perez, SJUSD Superintendent. “It’s about all the places of connection that make kids successful.” It was a dream twenty years in the making but now, the San Jacinto community will have another opportunity to create relationships, develop healthy habits, and have fun. Students will have new educational opportunities. They’ll learn different swim strokes, water safety, and practice mindfulness. Most importantly, they’ll learn to develop the very skills that brought them the aquatics center: perseverance, goal-setting, and resilience. The strength to triumph and fail and dream again.