La Jolla Rec board concerned, dissatisfied with city fixes


Although the City of San Diego is stepping up to make repairs to the La Jolla Rec Center grounds at 615 Prospect St., the La Jolla Park & Recreation, Inc. board members consider some efforts to be “unacceptable.”

Specifically, members have concerns with City plans to fill in the gaps between the auditorium floor tiles that have separated with expandable caulk, and plans to fix the cracks in the basketball court with a temporary cold patch. Further, the City’s scheduling suggestions for certain upgrades could limit residents’ access to the Rec Center during the busy summer months.

Addressing these repairs at the board’s May 23 meeting was San Diego Parks & Rec Department district manager Marilyn Stern.

Auditorium tiles

“A purchase order has been approved to fill the spaces where the tiles have separated with expandable caulking,” Stern told the board. “We’ve learned the reason the tiles are separating is, because the Earth is moving, the building is shifting. The same thing would happen with any new tiles. We want to get it repaired the quickest way we could.” She added the color would match “as best we can.”

In response, board chair Mary Coakley Munk said: “That is a totally unacceptable solution. We paid for the tiles, and we were forced to use your vendor to put the tiles down. It was expensive and to put a ‘fix’ in there is not acceptable. We would like our facility to present itself well to the public. To do what you are suggesting is horrible.”

Coakley Munk asked Stern to return to “the powers that be” and find a repair that does not involve caulking.

However, Stern explained: “This is the fastest, safest mode we have right now. That’s not to say, some day, the tiles won’t get replaced, but right now, we have no budget for that.”

The Girl Scout project to paint gameboards on the center’s outdoor tables will likely start later this month, and the proposed bocce ball court installation was not discussed.

Basketball court

In what Stern admitted “sounds like caulking,” she went on to say the basketball courts would be temporarily repaired and would “hopefully” be fully resurfaced in Fiscal Year 2019, which starts July 1: “I had La Jolla on the department list of all the sites that need court repairs, but there was only a certain amount of dollars that could go toward court repairs and La Jolla did not make the list this fiscal year. Other courts had a higher priority, so until we can resurface the (La Jolla) courts, we are going to repair the cracks.”

However, Coakley Munk countered: “I think the patches make the courts more dangerous now than they were before.”

Shade structures

The City’s new schedule for the installation of playground shade structures — which the board has been pursuing since late last year — brings the start date to some time in July.

The board would like to install shade structures include over the swing sets, the picnic tables by the basketball courts and the “big kid lot” nearby.

Stern explained: “If the Rec Council non-profit board was paying for this, it would have required a right-of-entry permit, which takes 60 days to acquire” and that could put the start at late July or beyond. “Once it hits July 1, the City will just do it and you don’t need a right-of-entry permit,” she added.

Stern did not provide a post-July 1 timeline.

Electrical project scheduling

To keep an electrical project planned for the Rec Center — installing a new 4-inch PVC conduit parallel to the existing steel conduit and abandon after new 4-inch PVC conduit has been installed and replacing existing switchboard with a new 600 AMP switchboard located in the basement — from interfering with summer events, work is beginning as soon as possible. In the days following the May 23 meeting, Stern said a schedule would be released.

However, the first week of June, green fencing was erected on Draper Avenue near the sidewalk that fronts the Rec Center, and Parks and Recreation Department Deputy Director Kathy Ruiz confirmed “the electrical project construction for the Recreation Center has mobilized this week.” It is unknown how long the project would take.

La Jolla Park & Recreation, Inc. next meets 5 p.m. Wednesday, June 27 at Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.