A proposed community center took a big step last week as City Council members voted 5-0 to approve a revised concept plan.
A subcommittee, reviewing the project, recommended the City Council approve a revised 30,000 square foot Concept Plan and exclude commercial lease space. Subcommittee members believe the new concept plan will serve the current and future needs of the community.
Earlier this year, the City Council was entertaining the idea of a larger facility, but opted to for a smaller version, “which still provides all the amenities as the larger one, and will be able to handle the current and future use for our recreation programs,” said South Pasadena City Manager Sergio Gonzalez.
The next phase will include elevations, space planning and, most importantly, a financing plan for the project. Gonzalez said that effort will include a fundraising capital campaign for residents and businesses to donate to the cause. The city will also look at public financing options, either borrow or float bonds for the project.
“Hopefully, we will have the financing plan completed within a year,” said Gonzalez, when asked when the project could get started. “Breaking ground can start as early as two years. That would be very ambitious thought.”
The project is much needed according to Mayor Pro Tem Michael Cacciotti, who has talked about the importance of a community center for many years.
“Since I proposed the establishment of the Community Center Committee a few years ago, the demand for adequate recreational space/services for our resident’s of all ages has only increased,” he said.
Moreover, assessing the space needs of all of our departments, particularly the incredible demand for more library space, had only confirmed the city’s immediate need to expand our recreational resources and space so as to accommodate the growing need for programs.”
Initially, to get the project off the ground, Gonzalez said a lot of community input was sought from the Youth and Senior Commissions, along with the South Pasadena Library Board of Trustees, and other individuals who use city facilities on a regular basis.
“We then had to look at the future of expected growth, of needs and trends,” explained Gonzalez. “We basically came up with a concept of what we can build to accommodate what the community wants in a community center.”