Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dedication Ceremony in South Los Angeles

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks dedicated a new Universally Accessible Playground (UAP) at Martin Luther King, Jr. Therapeutic Center on Saturday, April 19, 2008.

The new playground, located in South Los Angeles, has two play areas, one section for two to five-year-olds and another section for five to twelve-year-olds. Features include a swing set, sand play area and a half-height security fence to help provide a safe environment. The UAP also has resilient rubberized surfacing and shade structures for each play area.

The accessible MLK play area is the 8th UAP operated by the Department of Recreation and Parks. With over 180,000 special needs children in Los Angeles County the new playground, which is completely wheelchair accessible, will provide a brighter future for all children.

What is even more special about this playground is that it is the first UAP to open at a Therapeutic Recreation Center. MLK is one of four Therapeutic Centers run by the Department. All four centers help to provide quality programs for persons with disabilities. So, this new playground was needed and will surely be put to good use.

MLK's universal playground is a project of Shane's Inspiration, an organization that is devoted to creating "accessible playgrounds" that provide opportunities for children with disabilities to play at their highest level.

The $725,000 project was designed by the Bureau of Engineering's Architectural Division. The Bureau's Construction Management Division managed the project, which was built by Malibu Tennis Courts, Inc. Funding came from Prop. 40, Prop. 12 and City Capital Improvement Funds.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Therapeutic Center is located at 3916 South Western Avenue, Los Angeles 90062. For more information on the new playground or the Department in general visit our website at http://www.laparks.org/ or call (213) 928-9200.

Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Groundbreaking for a new Community Center

Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks held a Groundbreaking Ceremony to celebrate the start of construction on the
HOLA-Lafayette Community Center Expansion Project on Monday, March 24, 2008.

The $6 million project includes improvements to the existing recreation center, new building additions and outdoor park development. The 12,200 square-foot recreation center will include a gymnasium with a full-sized basketball court, multi-purpose room, restrooms, staff offices and storage space. The multi-story facility will also feature Everychild Learning Center spaces. Outdoor improvement plans include new fencing, landscape, irrigation system and a staff parking lot.

The project was designed by the Architectural Division of the Bureau of Engineering in the City’s Department of Public Works, and will be built by Western Alta Construction, Inc., of Los Angeles. Funding was provided by Proposition K ($5 million) and Proposition 12 ($500,000), as well as donations from HOLA and The Everychild Foundation.

Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), a California non-profit and the Department have partnered to successfully provide youth enrichment programs for children in the Lafayette park area. HOLA’s mission as an organization is to provide free athletic, academic and fine arts programs for elementary, middle and high school children at various locations, including Lafayette Park.

The organization gifted the Department with $32,120 to revise the architectural design of the recreation building to include additional club room and office space for HOLA’s proposed use in providing programs to the community. Subsequently HOLA received a $1 million grant from the Everychild Foundation to aid in the construction of the improvements and program enhancements at the Center and to accommodate HOLA’s proposed new programs at the Center.

Jane Kolb: (213) 928-9294
Harvey Drut: (213) 928-9296