Pending approval by the Community Services District (CSD) Board at its regularly scheduled Feb. 6 meeting, and on the recommendation of the Community Center Committee, the town will continue to operate the facility in its current capacity until the end of the fiscal year in June.
“The idea is to make the facility accessible immediately,” said General Manager Rick Howard. “The community has waited a long time for this (community center) and we want to show that we’re improving, not taking away something.”
Modest enhancements to the aging facility, including a new parking lot, general cleanup and the reintroduction of, yes, fresh towels, will begin immediately. Howard said he has already met with employees and invited those interested in remaining on board to reapply.
Although it’s not guaranteed that the club – to be renamed The Discovery Bay Community Center – will remain open after the 120 days, CSD Director and Community Center member Kevin Graves believes the effort is worthwhile.
“The idea is to come up with a way to best serve the people of Discovery Bay. Keeping the facility open seems like a feasible option,” said Graves. “We’re trying to give residents what they asked for, and I’m extremely excited to be able to begin providing that.”
The cost of keeping the lights on in the current site and maintaining the facility for the more than 250 residents already using the center will run around $18,000 per month. Howard estimates that a minimum of $10,000 per month will be generated from the current users; the additional $8,000 a month coming out of the town’s Zone 8 funds, which are designated recreation and landscape dollars.
If the club proves fiscally sound, it’s possible the town could begin implementing and adding new programs such as cooking classes and senior activities within the next six months. The assumption is that if the town builds its community center one brick and one project at a time, the public will come.
James Laberge, who works out at the current site two to three times a week, was pleased with the town’s proposal to keep the facility open. “I like it here,” said Laberge. “It’s close and convenient and it suits my needs. I’m glad they’re planning to keep it going.”
Community Center Committee member Jim Mattison agreed. “I think we’re all excited about the possibilities the new community center has to offer. With over 7 acres, we can have plenty of activities, including concerts, birthday parties, club meetings, family reunions plus a host of other events for the public inside and outside.”