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La Jolla recreation group ready to raise funds for $40 million Rec Center upgrade

Members of the La Jolla Community Recreation Group meet April 27 online.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

The Visioning Committee of the La Jolla Community Recreation Group is moving forward with its plans to renovate the La Jolla Recreation Center and is beginning to raise funds.

The committee’s website for the plans (friendsofljrc.org) is now live, Jill Peters, a member of the Community Recreation Group board and the Visioning Committee, said during the CRG’s virtual meeting April 27.

The CRG oversees the Rec Center.

The plans include upgrading the 106-year-old center at 615 Prospect St., rearranging its outdoor spaces and installing new playground equipment while staying true to the original architectural elements.

The plans also involve vacation of part of Cuvier Street to net the Rec Center more land for the renovation.

The project is estimated to cost $40 million, local architect Trace Wilson later told the La Jolla Light. That figure includes the renovation, new sport courts, new structures, new parkland on Cuvier and new fencing, trees and landscaping.

There also are plans to include renovation of the adjacent La Jolla Tennis Club in the fundraising efforts. Figures for that will be released after the Visioning Committee presents to the CRG board at a later date.

Other CRG news

Weight room: Construction of a new weight room floor is underway at the Rec Center, director Nicholas Volpe told the board.

Volpe said earlier this year that the floor is deteriorated and needs replacement.

Rosalia Castruita, area manager for the San Diego Parks & Recreation Department, said city crews recently removed asbestos under the previous floor.

Volpe also said the walls are being repainted and the vents cleaned.

“We have a brand-new fresh look in there,” he said.

He said Friends of the La Jolla Recreation Center, a nonprofit group established to support the center, funded the $8,270 project following CRG approval of the request in February.

“I’m very glad to see all these new changes happening for the La Jolla community,” Castruita said.

Volpe said he’d like to get updated gym equipment for the room. CRG board member Karen Wiggins said she would look into establishing a donation fund and matching contributions.

New classes and staff: Volpe said the Rec Center has added a T-ball class for children ages 3-4. He said the center’s Tiny Tots and PeeWee sports classes are consistently full, with the wait lists also full.

“There’s a lot of interest in kids coming back to the park and playing,” he said.

He added that pottery classes for children and adults may begin in the summer or fall. The Rec Center recently acquired a few kilns from another center.

Volpe said the Rec Center also has hired its fourth staff member, Jesus Hizon, who started about two weeks ago working Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturdays.

Spring Egg Hunt: More than 750 people attended the Spring Egg Hunt at the Rec Center on April 10, Volpe said. Photos with the Easter Bunny raised about $250.

An outdoor movie will be held in August, and Volpe said he’s hoping for a similar turnout.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Community Recreation Group next meets at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, likely online. For more information, call (858) 552-1658. ◆