Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Elysian Park-Riverside Park Groundbreaking Ceremony

Los Angeles - The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Elysian Park-Riverside Outdoor Improvement Park Project -Phase 1 on August 17, 2010 with Councilman Garcetti, Chief Deputy City Engineer Deborah Weintraub and community members. The celebration marked the start of construction on the first 5-acres of an undeveloped 18-acre site.

The City purchased the 18-acres of property in 1999 and held community outreach meetings to decide the park's design. The Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park played a huge role in the process. The site contains two relatively flat areas separated by a slope between the lower and mid-level of the property, which will be used for the active recreation development of the park. Due to limited funding the park will be developed in phases.
When complete Phase 1 will feature two multipurpose game courts, passive recreation lawn areas, picnic tables, a children's playground, trails, an outdoor classroom and a new permeable parking lot.

The $900,000 project, which is being funded by Proposition 40, is expected to be complete in the Spring of 2011. For more information on this project call (213) 202-2700 or visit the Department website at http://www.laparks.org/.

Andrea Esptein: (213) 202-2690
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Opening Ceremony for Downey Pool

Los Angeles - Just in time for the summer heat, the Department of Recreation and Parks dedicated and opened Downey Pool on Thursday, August 12, 2010. Originally closed in 2006, the pool has returned new, improved and ready for a splashing good time.

The original pool and pump house were completely demolished and replaced with a new 38-foot by 75-foot swimming/lap pool, a 1,700-square-foot activity pool/splash pad and a 500-square-foot structure that will house new pumps and filter equipment, and chemical rooms. The project also included the installation of landscaping, irrigation, decorative pool decking and perimeter fencing.

The $5.8 million improvement project was funded by bonds issued by the City through the Municipal Improvement Corporation of Los Angeles, Proposition K and developer fees. FSY Architects, Inc. designed the aquatic facility, which Horizon Construction of Anaheim built. The Architectural Division in the Bureau of Engineering of the City's Department of Public Works managed the project through the Municipal Facilities Program.

Downey Pool is an outdoor seasonal location (which means it is only open during the summer months) and offers a variety of aquatic programming (e.g. youth and adult swim lessons, inner-tube water polo, a junior lifeguard program, etc.). Downey Pool is located at 1775 North Spring Street in Los Angeles 90031. For more information on this location call the Aquatics Division at (323) 906-7953 or visit our website at http://www.laparks.org/.

Andrea Epstein: (213) 202-2690
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689

Dedication of Bellaire Avenue Pocket Park

North Hollywood - Once a vacant lot, the corner at Bellaire Avenue and Strathern Street in North Hollywood has been transformed into a charming new 0.14 acre neighborhood park. The Department of Recreation and Parks celebrated the park's completion with a dedication ceremony on Thursday, July 29, 2010.

Bellaire Avenue Park boasts a 2-5 year old play area with resilient rubberized surfacing, an outdoor classroom with wood stump seating, a demonstration garden and solar lighting. The Department's Planning Division designed the new pocket park to contain water conservation objectives. Water conservation has become an important issue around the world and the implementation of water saving measures are greatly needed everywhere. The Department of Recreation and Parks is proud to say that Bellaire Park is part of that effort by the implementation of the following features to the new park.

Bellaire Park is landscaped with California native and drought tolerant plants. Native/drought tolerant plants are adapted to the wet winters and dry summers, allowing less use of water, fertilizer and pesticides. The beautiful Walnut Tree was preserved and was worked into the park's design. A Smart Irrigation System was installed and will save 325,000 gallons of water annually. All of these special elements help conserve water and the natural habitat, while providing residents with local parkland. The water and habitat conservation themed park was built by the Department of Recreation and Parks construction forces, with funding from Propositions K and 40.

Bellaire Avenue Park is located at 7960 Bellaire Avenue in North Hollywood 91605. For more information on this location please call (213) 202-2700 or visit our website at http://www.laparks.org/.

Andrea Epstein: (213) 202-2690
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689

Monday, August 23, 2010

Grand Opening of Lincoln Heights Youth Center Complex

Los Angeles - A historic church built in 1930 has been restored and transformed into the Lincoln Heights Youth Center Complex. The Department of Recreation and Parks held a grand opening ceremony for the new 15,000-square-foot complex on Monday, July 26, 2010.

The $7.2 million project included the renovation of the original chapel and school building, installation of an elevator and improvements to make the center handicap accessible. The two-story chapel now has a boxing ring and male and female weight rooms. The new center also boasts a youth center, full-sized outdoor hockey rink (complete with court markings and lights for night games) and junior arts center (which will be run by the Department of Cultural Affairs).

The Architectural Division of the Bureau of Engineering in the Department of Public Works designed the renovations, which were built by the Construction Division of the Department of General Services. The project was managed through the Bureau of Engineering's Recreational and Cultural Facilities Program. Funding for the project, including purchase of the property, came entirely from Proposition K.

For the first time, Recreation and Parks and Cultural Affairs will work side-by-side and provide different programs at one location. This partnership will bring more resources into the heart of the surrounding neighborhood, providing positive alternatives for local youth and adults.

The Lincoln Heights Youth Center Complex will provide a youth and women's kick boxing class, youth boxing program and much more. The new unique center will serve as a replacement location for the former Los Angeles Youth Athletic Club (LAYAC) that operated similar fitness programs out of the fifth floor of the old Lincoln Heights jail on Lacey Street for over four decades. The City closed the LAYAC on April 30 due to safety issues.

Innovation and creativity were at the heart of both locations. In the past, an old jail served as training grounds for future boxers and now a former church will be grooming the next great champ. The new Lincoln Heights Youth Center Complex is located at 2911 Altura Street in Los Angeles 90031. For more information on this location call the complex directly at (323) 266-1401.

Andrea Epstein: (213) 202-2690
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689

Grand Opening of Stoner RC Skate Plaza

West Los Angeles - The Department of Recreation and Parks proudly dedicated yet another unique location for skateboarders at Stoner Recreation Center on Thursday, July 22, 2010. The new state-of-the-art skate plaza has quickly become a haven for local and visiting skateboarders.

The new 20,000-square-foot plaza features stairs, ledges and benches, making it an ideal location for street skaters. The Stoner Skate Plaza was built by California Skateparks, Inc. and was designed with help from local skateboarder Alec Beck (West LA Community of Skateboarders). Quimby Funds financed the $1 million project.

The Skate Plaza project was a response to the community's desire and need for a local skate facility after a famous spot at the West L.A. courthouse was closed to skaters. In fact, part of the new plaza was designed to mirror an area of the courthouse. Many of the plaza's street elements are features duplicated from previous skate spots that are no longer there or accessible, making Stoner Skate Plaza extremely special to local skaters.

Stoner Recreation Center is located at 1835 Stoner Avenue in West Los Angeles 90025. Stoner Skate Plaza is open from 9 am to dusk everyday. For more information on this location call (213) 202-2700 or visit the Department's FaceBook Fan Page "Skate in LA".

Andrea Epstein: (213) 202-2690
Amy A. Garcia: (213) 202-2689