The center opened on Monday and will be operated under a pilot program between the city and San Juan County. If it attracts sufficient neighborhood use, the center will be eligible for adoption as a formal program by City Council during planning for fiscal year 2014 in February and March 2013.
In the mean time, the center’s staff members are excited to provide a new service to residents of Crouch Mesa.
“When I was younger, I didn’t have a place like this to come to after school,” said Desiree Deschenie, a recreation leader at the community center. “I think this is really cool. I hope the kids come out and visit us.”
The new center is open Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It features a game room, study room, computer lab, meeting room, common area, kitchen and a small library and reading area.
If the pilot program goes well, community center staff hope to get city funding for a building expansion, said Natalie Spruell, the center’s manager. She envisions a community center with an adjoining gymnasium and multipurpose space similar to the facilities at Sycamore Park Community Center, 1051 Sycamore St.
The opportunities really are endless,” she said. “We’ve got energetic people, and the land is here.
It’s an exciting project for us to be working on.”
The city spent about $20,000 to revitalize the former Halvorson House. The county-owned building remained vacant since the agency ceased operation in March 2010 because of financial difficulties. The building’s boarded-up windows were seen as a blight on the Crouch Mesa neighborhood. Since September, that space has been transformed, and city staff seem happy with the result.
“I think it’s turned out better than everyone thought it would,” said Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Director Jeff Bowman. “It’s a good thing for the community. I just hope the kids like it.”
For more information on hours of operation or services and activities offered, call the Crouch Mesa Community Center at 505-325-9850.