La Jolla Rec Center basketball courts to be resurfaced beginning Nov. 4: Off limits until mid-December

The basketball courts behind the La Jolla Recreation Center at 615 Prospect St. will be resurfaced starting Monday, Nov. 4, the City reports.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

After almost two years of waiting, City commitments and stopgap solutions, the City of San Diego has finally announced the date at which work will begin to resurface the La Jolla Rec Center basketball courts: Nov. 4. Work will take just over one month, during which the courts, grass and surrounding area will be closed to the public.

San Diego Park & Recreation area manager Rosalia Castruita told the La Jolla Recreation Advisory Group (LJRAG) during its Oct. 23 meet at the Rec Center the courts would be smoothed out for safety.

“The entire area – including both courts and the grass area – will not be accessible because the lawn will be used for equipment staging,” she said. “City staff are looking at the (nearby eucalyptus) tree, and I believe the tree is going to be removed because it is uplifting the pavement and becomes a liability.

LJRSG trustee Mary Coakley-Munk said the news was “fantastic.”

The board has been waiting for the resurfacing to begin since early 2018, when the City announced it would replace the top few inches of the court’s surface to repair deep cracks and improve safety.

In February 2018, then-area manager Tyler Canales said he ordered a temporary patch for the courts so the cracks in the surface can be repaired, and that a complete resurfacing was in the budget for that Fiscal Year (July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018) to be completed by June.

However, when June came and went without the resurfacing, the City opted just to fill in the courts’ deep cracks with cold patch, which some LJRAG members said made the situation worse.

In December 2018, City representatives told the board funding has been identified for fiscal year 2019 (July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019) to repair the hard courts, and that work would entail grinding a few inches down and resurfacing to get the courts “safe and smooth.”

Facing unknown delays, the work was pushed back to fall 2019. While the resurfacing is underway, the Rec Center building and front lawn will be open to the public. Castruita said she did not think, but was unsure whether, the children’s play structures would be impacted by the project.

There are also open-to-the-public basketball courts and lawns on which sports could be played at the Doyle Community Park, 8175 Regents Road; and at the Pacific Beach Community Park, 1405 Diamond St.

Also at LJRAG:

Holiday event scheduling: The board is continuing its effort to have a “holiday experience” at the Rec Center the weekend of the La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival, which is on Dec. 8; but for now, it is in the City’s hands.

The board contracted a firm to string lights on a tree on the Rec Center grounds and plans to host a tree lighting ceremony, but the firm must be vetted and approved by the City’s Purchasing and Contracting Department. “Once that gets approved, it comes to me,” Castruita said. “Once I see that approval, I will come back to the 501(c)3 (arm of this board) and request the donation to cover expenses.”

If the vendor is on “top of it” and provides the City with the complete documentation in a timely manner, this process can take two to three weeks, she continued. “If they lag on it, it is going to take a long time.”

The lights would need to be strung in advance of the Dec. 8 weekend, but the board has yet to decide on whether to have the tree-lighting on Dec. 7 to kick-off the festivities or Dec. 8 as a dovetail from the parade.

Cashless Center: As of Oct. 4, the City of San Diego’s Park and Recreation department has gone cashless, so all purchases for classes and events must now be paid by debit/credit card or electronic check. Staff report the new system has been working well.

Senior Dance: The next Turkey Trot senior dance is 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15 for those 55 and older. Dinner, beverages and coffee will be served, and Breez’n Band will provide live entertainment. $15. Registration is also available online – however, there is a $2 transaction fee and 3 percent service charge on credit card purchases – at and search activity code 64923.

Visioning Committee report: The Visioning Committee, which is in the process of drafting a master plan for the grounds, and overseeing the playground replacement and redesign, will give a comprehensive presentation at the January meeting: 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 615 Prospect St. (the board will not meet in December, so the early Jan. 8 meeting will serve as both the December and January meetings).

The board will next meet one week earlier than usual to accommodate the Thanksgiving holiday, 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20 at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.