The Coast News Group
Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News

Building OK’d for services at La Colonia

SOLANA BEACH — With renovations at La Colonia Community Center indefinitely on hold, City Council at the May 9 meeting agreed to allow the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito to install a temporary building on the site to expand its youth services. 

The city entered a joint use agreement in 2009 with the Boys & Girls Clubs, which offers after-school and summer programs for area students.

Earlier that same year a contract was approved for final design plans at La Colonia Park that included improvements to the community center.

The city was going to use money from its redevelopment agency to fund the project. However, the governor abolished redevelopment agencies statewide last year so the renovation has been delayed.

“We don’t have financing opportunities to expand the actual community center there,” City Manager David Ott said. “There is definitely demand out there … for more classes.”

The organization provides free programs, including recreational activities and homework assistance, to more than 60 children in the nearby Eden Gardens neighborhood. There is currently a waiting list for others who want to participate but can’t because of a lack of space.

The club plans to use approximately 960 square feet of the park west of the existing center between the building and the playground equipment for a modular structure that would be about 40 feet long, 24 feet wide and 15 feet high.

No trees will be removed, but there will be some minor trimming, City Engineer Mo Sammak said. Exterior lighting is not planned, however, it can be added if needed for security reasons, Ott said.

According to the agreement, the Boys & Girls Clubs must restore the area to its current state, or better, once it vacates the property.

“I’ve been here many times talking about our desire to serve the community and Eden Gardens,” Keith Padgett, president of the organization, said. “Gradually we’ve expanded our services there over the years.

“This will allow us to increase it even more once again,” he said. “We, as an organization, (are) committed to serving that community.”

The city agreed to a three-year lease with a 90-day termination clause and an option for two additional one-year extensions.