The University City Swim Club is enjoyed by 450 member families (approximately 1500 individuals). “The Club” as we know it today has evolved over a period of almost 50 years, and members are proud of a culture of volunteerism, inclusion, diversity, and community.

Descendants of several of the pool’s founders remain members to this day, among them those of Dr. James Cox, who led the effort to create the University City Swim Club. Imagine the audacity of these people! In the early 1960s, in the heart of an urban area, they proposed to create an integrated swim club. They convinced 300 families to commit significant funds (close to $2,000 in today’s dollars) to join a pool that merely existed as a vision. Some of the founders took personal responsibility for the construction loan.

University City Swim Club Plans

The pool opened in the middle of the summer in 1964. There was always a family atmosphere and fun, friendships and even romance flourished. Season after season, members could watch as young children learned to swim, ventured down the slide or off the diving board, and then grew up to become lifeguards and even the parents of the next generation. In the dining area, some people have developed a reputation for the excellence of their grilling techniques and cooking skills. Families could spend days and evenings; parents let their toddlers splash under the stars, and then changed them directly into pajamas for the trip home to bed.

For decades, the original L-shaped pool with its high-dive and baby pool served the Club well. The concrete sculpture of a seal from 1964 remains in the area of the toddler pool. However, by the late 1990s, failing equipment, cloudy water, and crumbling concrete made it clear that renovation was needed.

In 2002, members approved architect Sarto Schickel’s new design for the pool, which increased water area by about 40%. The increased capacity enabled us to expand the membership to 450 families over three seasons. The pool secured a mortgage in 2003 and everyone expected the renovation to be finished for the 2004 season. Unfortunately, many projected completion dates came and went and the renovation was not completed until the start of the 2005 season.

University City Swim Club historical photo

volunteer board oversees the Club, and the daily operations (lifeguards, swim lessons, water quality, facility cleaning) are handled by a professional management company. What makes the UCSC a success is the cohesive sense of community and the positive spirit of our members. We depend on our members to be considerate, to voluntarily perform tasks, and to comply with the rules that have been developed for the health and safety of all.

Many people have worked hard to make the Club what it is today. We encourage you to get to know the others around you and invite you to attend the member meetings in June and September. Enjoy the July 4th picnic and games, come to the dances, movie nights, and late night swims, or pull a few weeds with the gardeners. Please also join a committee to help administer the Club.

Welcome to the UCSC family!