Former L.A. Spas Owner Pledges $27 Million

Children’s Hospital of Orange County (Calif.) has named its new pediatric tower after Bill Holmes, former L.A. Spas owner. Holmes (shown above, back row), who retired in 2004 after selling his Anaheim-based firm, recently pledged $27 million to the hospital. It’s the largest gift from a living donor in the organization’s history. The seven-story, 425,000-square-foot “Bill Holmes Tower” will house a fully dedicated pediatric emergency department, in addition to advanced operating rooms, laboratory, pathology and imaging services.

“This is my legacy gift to CHOC Children’s and to the children and families in the community,” explained Holmes, who moved to Southern California from the Midwest in his teens and built his pool and spa career in the region. “The new tower expands on what CHOC can do for the children in our community. Orange County residents should take tremendous pride in having a world-class pediatric facility here.”

“We are extremely grateful for the support from Mr. Holmes,” said Kim Cripe, (shown above, next to Holmes) CEO of CHOC. “His generous donation will help us usher in a new era at CHOC; one that truly transforms pediatric medicine, making children’s futures brighter than ever.”

CONSPA Warns Against Unlicensed Contractors

In an effort to help educate homeowners and industry members, the Connecticut Spa & Pool Association has begun a public awareness campaign on the need to use only licensed pool professionals to service pools and spas in the state of Connecticut. To that end, CONSPA has created a 19½-by-29-inch poster featuring a stop sign and the words: “STOP Unlicensed Contractors. Pool Service and Maintenance Contractors MUST have an SP1 License. Your homeowner’s insurance will not protect you from an unlicensed contractor.”

One of the challenges in the state is the confusion surrounding the licensing requirements. A home improvement contractor’s registration is no longer required for spa and pool pros. Instead, Connecticut now requires SP-1 and SP-2 licenses that are specific to pool repair and maintenance.

Connecticut will soon require its pool builders to be licensed as well. A hearing at the state capitol on Jan. 14 discussed final regulations governing the builder’s licensing law. Once these regulations are approved and the law goes into effect, pool builders in the state will have until Jan. 1, 2014, to be grandfathered into the new law. After that, anyone without a license will be required to take a test.