Requests for La Jolla Recreation Center bocce court repairs and new pickleball lines are stuck in neutral

The west end of the bocce court at the La Jolla Recreation Center is still awaiting requested repairs.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Community Recreation Group members also would like benches at the bocce court, along with Rec Center carpet cleaning and replacement of all gym equipment.


Staff from the city of San Diego has yet to meet with members of the La Jolla Community Recreation Group regarding long-requested repairs to the La Jolla Recreation Center’s bocce court, according to the group, which serves as the Recreation Center’s advisory board.

The bocce court, which opened in July 2021, is still considered in need of work at its west end, which sits several inches above the ground to keep the court level but could create a hazard for people stepping on and off the court.

CRG member Mary Coakley Munk first broached the safety issue in January 2022.

At CRG’s meeting Aug. 23, Anna Sonnenburg, district manager for the San Diego Parks & Recreation Department, said she had no update on the issue.

Another CRG item, the addition of pickleball lines on the Rec Center’s west basketball court, also is held up, with Sonnenburg maintaining that there aren’t issues with basketball and pickleball players sharing space.

The center’s east court currently is striped with lines that create two courts for pickleball, and dozens of pickleball players asked last winter that the west court be striped as well, citing the sport’s popularity and long waits to play at the east court.

In January, the board voted 4-3 to approve lines for two pickleball courts on the west court and to create rules and signs for the courts’ use.

Sonnenburg said at the time that she would discuss the matter with the parks department “to make sure this is a good decision for us as a whole in the community.”

The courts currently operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We don’t need rules because [the court users] usually are very good about policing themselves,” Sonnenburg said at this week’s meeting. “And that’s really what we want. We don’t want to input rules onto anyone here. So the first-come, first-served is working well.”

Other CRG news

New bocce benches: With the bocce court a popular attraction, there is a need for benches, preferably on the Draper Avenue sidewalk, Coakley Munk said.

The benches would be temporary, since plans are underway to renovate the Rec Center.

Sonnenburg asked for design possibilities before taking the idea to city officials.

“If I know what you would like to do, what type of benches, what size and where, then … I can help you find who you would need to speak to,” she said.

Improvement requests: CRG members unanimously approved a request to the city for carpet cleaning and replacement of all gym equipment at the Rec Center.

Small or medium-size projects often are funded quickly throughout the year, according to Steve Hadley, a representative of San Diego City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla.

“State and federal legislators … and the county supervisors sometimes [say] ‘Do you have a … ready-to-go project?’” Hadley said. “Please put whatever you want on the list.”

Greg Russo, who offers personal and group fitness training at the Rec Center, suggested carpet cleaning for two rooms on the northwest side of the building and replacement of the gym equipment.

The gym is “pivotal” for people of all ages to improve strength and mobility, Russo said.

CRG member Jon Wiggins said replacing the equipment also might increase the Rec Center’s use and revenue, with more people wanting to use newer pieces.

Rec Center Director Nicholas Volpe said the cost of replacing the gym equipment was previously estimated at $60,000 to $80,000.

The La Jolla Community Recreation Group meets Aug. 23 at the Recreation Center.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Christmastime event: Coakley Munk asked the board and Sonnenburg to consider an event hosted by the Rec Center following this year’s La Jolla Christmas Parade on Sunday, Dec. 3.

The center has had such an event on its grounds, where the parade route ends, in the past but not in recent years, Coakley Munk said. The events included inflatable playgrounds, face painters, singing groups, a visit from Santa Claus and more.

“We always did it ourselves and it was very nice and wonderful,” she said. “It’s a community event, another way for people to see what we do.”

“I do remember a lot of people from the parade coming into the park,” CRG Chairman Alan Dulgeroff said.

Since Volpe already has a “Movie in the Park” plan approved and budgeted for this winter, it would be difficult to change that for a post-parade event this year, Sonnenburg said.

But given that Volpe hasn’t yet set a date for the movie event — which also would include a visit from Santa, plus stockings filled with candy — Coakley Munk wondered whether the funding allotted for it could be used for the post-parade event instead.

Sonnenburg said the budget was approved with a movie, and “we don’t want to let anyone down who was looking forward to a movie.”

She said she and Rec Center staff will discuss the idea but added that the best option is to explore the post-parade event for 2024.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Community Recreation Group next meets at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 615 Prospect St. To learn more, call (858) 552-1658. ◆