HAYWARD -- Burglars broke into Southgate Swim Center, stealing the team's sound system, plus tools belonging to the club's members, including two jack hammers, a pressure washer and a cement mixer.
The tools were at the club because its members are rebuilding the pool, which started leaking after a crack opened up last year.
The theft occurred sometime in the evening of Sept. 29 or early the next morning.
"Someone broke in and stole our tools and the whole audio system used to make announcements at meets," said club president Tracy Diaz-Dominguez, who estimated the tools' value at $2,600 and the sound system's at $900. In addition, about six pop-up shade tents, worth about $200 each, were taken.
This is the second setback this year for the club, located at 24900 Magnolia St. in a neighborhood south of Southland Mall. The contractor who was rebuilding the pool left in June, with the project only half complete.
"We had an emergency meeting to decide whether we were going to shut down the whole pool or people would volunteer," Diaz-Dominguez said. "We decided to start rebuilding the pool ourselves."
John Sydow, owner of Sydow Pool Service and Repair, stepped in to give the club a hand, providing expertise for the volunteers.
"I look at it as a paying it forward kind of thing," he said. "It's something I'm doing for the community."
In addition to removing the old plaster, workers have replaced the pool's plumbing and electrical system. On Saturday, the pool will be replastered and filled. About two weeks after that, it will have its final inspections.
Once the pool is complete, despite the setbacks, "we will have a grand opening. We will definitely invite the community," Diaz-Dominguez said.
Even though the pool is almost finished, the club is still raising money to pay for the project. Diaz-Dominguez said the members are about $15,000 short of the $80,000 needed and that does not include any of the losses from the break-in. Donations may be sent to Southgate Swim Club, Box 138, Mount Eden, CA 94557.
Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.