Hundreds of residents came out to take the first look at the city’s latest creation.
The Pine Avenue Community Center and Community Garden was christened May 19 as Mayor Matt Hall, the City Council and Parks and Recreation Director Chris Hazeltine each delivered short speeches.
The $11 million project features the two-story center with a multi-purpose gym, horizontal climbing wall and a teen area upstairs with games, video game consoles, a computer lab and study room. A hallway on the main floor is plastered with black-and-white photos documenting Carlsbad’s history.
The garden features dozens of raised beds, which have been rented by residents to grow food and other plants, pathways and an area for residents to play checkers, chess or tic-tac-toe. In addition, an art sculpture by Jenna Didier is currently underway and will showcase a willow dome, consisting of two half domes, and, perhaps, several citrus trees.
“The department is thrilled to bring this amenity to the community,” Hazeltine said. “If you build what they want, they will come.”
However, the biggest feature, Hall and others said, was the connectivity of the 18,000-square-foot building to the Senior Center. One goal is to provide a gateway for seniors and youth to interact with each other.
Councilman Keith Blackburn said the city also incorporated the Light Program, which is a leadership program designed to encourage interaction between seniors and youths.
Councilwoman Cori Schumacher applauded the building’s commitment to clean and green technology with LED lights, electric vehicle parking and one-third of the power coming from solar.
As for residents, Scott Lane, who lives in Carlsbad Village, celebrated the festivities with his two young sons. He said the new center allows for the kids to get out of the house and engage with others.
The new facility and garden will also bring the neighborhood and community together, he said.
“I always hate having them cooped up all day,” Lane said of his boys. “It kind of brings the community together more. This way, you can run into people and engage.”
The upgrades to Pine Avenue Park are part of a package of new work the city has committed to for three parks, which include Aviara and Poinsettia. Aviara will receive a gathering area, small stage and community building, while Poinsettia’s upgrades will include a dog park, large playground and pickleball courts. Work is expected to begin in June.