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Recreation Center playgrounds reopen after brief closure caused by state coronavirus order

The Dec. 9 meeting of the La Jolla Community Recreation Group discussed playground access, bright lights and more.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The playgrounds at the La Jolla Recreation Center are open again after being closed briefly as a result of new regional coronavirus restrictions imposed by the state.

“County guidelines were to close the playgrounds [Dec. 7], so we did put signage up,” San Diego Parks & Recreation Department area manager Rosalia Castruita told the La Jolla Community Recreation Group during its Dec. 9 meeting.

But after a state update Dec. 9 announcing that playgrounds could open, “we were told to remove the signage, so we followed that directive,” Castruita said.

She said there is “no new notification” on when the Rec Center building will be allowed to reopen.

“Everything remains as is since March,” she said. “We continue to think about safety, not only for our employees but for the public as well.”

The La Jolla Community Recreation Group voted unanimously Dec. 9 to give its Visioning Committee conceptual approval for the committee’s plans to revamp the 105-year-old Recreation Center at 615 Prospect St.

Castruita said holiday lights that were put up the Tuesday before Thanksgiving will remain through the first week of January. “We are trying to be as festive as possible for the community so they can enjoy their drive or walk by the Rec Center,” she said.

Other CRG news

New assistant Rec Center director: Brittany Mitchell was introduced as the new assistant Recreation Center director for La Jolla.

Bocce court: In an update about plans for the installation of a temporary bocce court, Castruita said she met Dec. 7 with Rec Center maintenance staff and landscapers to turn on irrigation heads and looked at the direction of the spray.

The next step after the plans are modified for irrigation, she said, is to work on submitting the plans to the Parks & Recreation Department for approval, which includes having the irrigation supervisor look at the plans.

Installing the court “will move forward from there,” Castruita said. She added that she has no sense of how long that will take.

“We’re hoping to get that [court] in,” CRG Chairwoman Mary Coakley Munk said. “It is one of the things that people can enjoy during COVID.”

Bright light complaints: In response to complaints about bright lights at the La Jolla Tennis Club and the Rec Center, Steve Hadley, representing the office of departing City Councilwoman Barbara Bry, said: “You do have to have enough light for those who are enjoying the basketball courts and the tennis courts and the rest. You can’t run the risk of people being hurt while they are engaged in those activities. It seems that some of the complaints are coming from up on the hill, as people look down across The Village at night. They would like to see darkness and stars, and until a certain hour, especially in the wintertime, you have this kind of glow of light down in the recreation [center] area.

“We’re trying to be sensitive to that, but we have to protect and support not only the peace and quiet over the person’s home but the functions of The Village and the recreational activities that are there. I want you to know we are responding to some of that.”

Next meeting: The La Jolla Community Recreation Group next meets at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27. For more information, call (858) 552-1658. ◆