La Jolla recreation group prepared to lift funds for $40 million Rec Heart improve

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The La Jolla Community Recreation Group’s Visioning Committee 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, said Jill Peters, a member of the board of the Community Recreation Group and Visioning Committee, during the CRG’s April 27 virtual meeting.

The CRG oversees the Rec Center.

The plans include modernizing the 106-year-old center at 615 Prospect St., redesigning its grounds and installing new play equipment while retaining the original architectural elements.

The plans also include clearing part of Cuvier Street to give the Rec Center more land for renovation.

The project is estimated at $40 million, local architect Trace Wilson later told the La Jolla Light. This number includes the renovation, new athletic fields, new structures, new parkland at Cuvier, as well as new fences, trees and landscaping.

There are also plans to include the renovation of the neighboring La Jolla Tennis Club in the fundraising effort. Figures for this will be released after the Visioning Committee will present them to the CRG Board at a later date.

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Other CRG news

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

Volpe said earlier this year that the floor is damaged and needs to be replaced.

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

Volpe also said the walls would be repainted and the vents cleaned.

“We’ve got a brand new, fresh look in there,” he said.

He said Friends of the La Jolla Recreation Center, a nonprofit group formed to support the center, funded the $8,270 project after the CRG approved the application in February.

“I am very excited to see all of these new changes for the La Jolla community,” said Castruita.

Volpe said he would like to get updated fitness equipment for the space. CRG Board Member Karen Wiggins said she will look into setting up a fundraising fund and appropriate contributions.

New Classes and Staff: According to Volpe, the Rec Center has added a T-Ball class for kids ages 3 to 4. He said the center’s Tiny Tots and PeeWee exercise classes are consistently full, and waiting lists are full, too.

“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 could start in the summer or fall. The Rec Center recently acquired some kilns from another center.

Volpe said the rec center also hired its fourth employee, Jesus Hizon, who started working Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturdays about two weeks ago.

Spring Egg Hunt: More than 750 people took part in the Spring Egg Hunt at the Rec Center on April 10, Volpe said. Photos featuring the Easter Bunny fetched about $250.

An outdoor film will take place in August and Volpe said he hopes for a similar turnout.

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