La Jolla Community Center needs funds to finish renovations

Plans for the new entrance facade at the La Jolla Community Center bring a new look and new name to the former Riford Center. Courtesy

About La Jolla Community Center
Managed By: Friends of the Riford Center, a community-based 501(c)(3) corporation established in 2007, under a lease from the City of San Diego (owners of the facility).
Members: 375
Annual Dues: Single $100; Couple $175
• To Make a Donation: Contact Executive Director Nancy Walters. Naming opportunities are available.
• Phone: (858) 459-0831
• Website:
• Upcoming Events: No-experience-necessary acrylic painting class from Dottie Stanley, 5 p.m. June 21; Road trip to California Science Center in Los Angeles to see National Geographic’s “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt,” 8 a.m. June 27; Wine-tasting Party, 5 p.m. June 28.

By Kim Cromwell

Friends of the Riford Center (now doing business as the La Jolla Community Center) report they are two-thirds of the way finished with the center’s renovations, but still need $250,000 to complete the project, which has been dependent on gifts and grants.

According to board chairman Glen Rasmussen, donations received thus far total about $506,000. But the renovation bills — $207,000 to make the Center ADA compliant, $19,500 for doors, $20,000 for a bench and tile work, $65,000 for the courtyard, $46,000 for classroom improvements and $150,000 for a gourmet kitchen and great-room improvements — need further public support.

The improvements not yet funded include (but are not limited to) the ramp railing, arched roof over the entrance, building identification letters, and the accent tile over the entrance. Current funding, Rasmussen said, is adequate to construct a concrete ramp with a galvanized railing, but the Center would like to

secure donations to cover the additional costs of a tempered glass railing with stainless steel connectors that would be more durable and attractive.

The La Jolla Community Center as it appears prior to planned renovations. Courtesy

“Then, we hope to build an endowment to allow the center to exist and serve the needs of the community into perpetuity,” he said of the work scheduled to be com- pleted by September.

The center’s contemporary Southern Cali- fornia beach design by architect Michael Morton of Marengo Morton Architects, Inc., was inspired by its proximity at 6811 La Jolla Blvd. to WindanSea surfing beach.

Its unique location, combined with its original courtyard style, makes it a So. Cal icon, which according to Ruth Yansick, CEO and Vice president of Fundraising & Development, “has a feeling to it like no other building in La Jolla … a charisma; every- thing in it is one-of-a-kind.” Some of its treasured items include handmade tiles by Laird, a craftsman-style bench, and an artisan fountain with a canopy of sails overhead that allow for a view of the clear blue sky.

“The Center’s not-for-profit mission,” Yan- sick, said, “is to provide programs and services for adults to promote lifelong learning, wellness and friendship.”

Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, the center more than fulfills its mission. It offers everything from classes in fitness, digital photography, computers, art, languages and international cooking in its new state-of-the-art gourmet kitchen to jazz concerts, wine tastings, day trips, a Distinguished Speaker Series, and Readers Theatre. In addition, original art is showcased throughout the center and new art is hung every two months.

Related posts:

  1. La Jolla planning group wants another review of Riford plan
  2. La Jolla panel advances Riford front access plan
  3. Riford neighbors step up challenge over disabled access location
  4. La Jolla’s Riford Center regrouping for the future as it launches fundraising drive
  5. Debate over Riford Center ADA access continues

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Posted by Staff on Jun 15, 2012. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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