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La Jolla Recreation Center advisory group pursues new weight room floor and fees and a new game room

The La Jolla Community Recreation Group voted to seek funding to replace the floor of the Recreation Center's weight room.
The La Jolla Community Recreation Group voted to forward a request to Friends of the La Jolla Recreation Center for funding to replace the floor of the center’s weight room.
(Nicholas Volpe)

The La Jolla Community Recreation Group, the advisory board for the La Jolla Recreation Center, is pursuing a new floor for the center’s weight room, along with higher weight room fees and a new game room for teenagers.

Rec Center director Nicholas Volpe asked the CRG during its virtual meeting last week to help fund new flooring for the weight room following a discussion at the January meeting, during which Volpe said the floor is deteriorated and in need of replacement.

He said Feb. 23 that the new floor would cost about $8,270 and asked the CRG to forward a request to Friends of the La Jolla Recreation Center, a nonprofit group established to support the center.

CRG Chairwoman Mary Coakley Munk said the Friends board had indicated it wanted the CRG to weigh in on funding requests before Friends considers them.

Volpe said the San Diego Parks & Recreation Department would remove the workout equipment, take out the old floor and prepare it for new flooring.

“This is one where it’s a safety issue,” Coakley Munk said. “And the city should be taking care of it and not asking the Friends to take care of it.”

During the January discussion, CRG member Jan Harris noted that the Rec Center reported about $30,000 in leftover money the previous October.

Harris moved last week that the CRG recommend that money for the new flooring come from the Rec Center’s fund balance. However, the motion did not receive a second.

Board member Alan Dulgeroff said he is a “big supporter of the Rec Center keeping its funds for emergency use.” He added that the flooring cost would be a sizeable portion of the remaining money.

For the 2022 fiscal year, which ends June 30, the Rec Center was projected to make $26,534 but to date had brought in only $10,033, leaving about $16,500 to be made in just four months, Volpe said.

The shortfall is due to fewer classes and events being held at the Rec Center due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials say.

Dulgeroff moved that the request for floor money be referred to Friends of the La Jolla Recreation Center for consideration. The motion passed with Harris opposed and Coakley Munk customarily abstaining as chair.

Weight room fees

Volpe also proposed sharply increasing the Rec Center’s weight room fees. The one-day rate would increase from $5.15 to $12; a monthly pass would increase from $10.30 to $20; and an annual pass would increase from $92.70 to $160.

Volpe said the fees fund other Rec Center programs and currently are well below rates of area gyms.

After a brief discussion, the CRG decided to allow Volpe to adjust the fees as he deems necessary.

Other CRG news

The La Jolla Community Recreation Group meets Feb. 23.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Game room: Volpe asked the CRG to approve $3,500 to establish a game room at the Rec Center.

The money would come from the center’s fund and would cover furniture, a television, a game system and board games, he said.

Volpe said the game room is needed to offer teenagers a space where they don’t “feel like they are in the way of everybody and also keep them away from any activities that should not be happening at the Rec Center.”

On many days, he said, 40 to 50 teens gather at the Rec Center, usually on the basketball courts. He said he’d like to offer a place “where they can spend their quality time and have some guided activities.”

“Building that rapport and relationship and giving them that spot to hang out is vital,” Volpe added.

A motion by Harris to move forward with developing a game room for teenagers passed with no opposition.

The La Jolla Community Recreation Group, the advisory board for the La Jolla Recreation Center, voted to request funds to repair the center’s 8-month-old temporary bocce court.

New classes: Volpe said Rec Center staff member Brittany Mitchell has started a new art class and a cooking class for children younger than 12.

Center assistant director Quinlan Olds is looking to start a cooking class on Wednesdays for participants 12 and older, Volpe said.

Staff shortage: Rosalia Castruita, area manager for the San Diego Parks & Recreation Department, said Volpe has three employees, while recreation centers usually operate with six or seven.

“It’s a challenge, but he’s still working with it,” Castruita said.

The shortage is similar to those at other area rec centers, but it might ebb soon, as the department is looking to interview and select staff members “according to the needs of the community,” Castruita said.

Volpe and the other Rec Center employees “are doing a great job with the resources they have, and they’re still wanting to promote programs and special events,” she said. ◆