OB Rec Center Make-Over Allows Everyone to Be a Kid

by on April 7, 2015 · 0 comments

in Culture, History, Life Events, Ocean Beach, Sports

OB Rec Ctr mgr mw apr015

Rec Center Director Brian Anthony. Photo by Matthew Wood

Spring Renovations Include Re-Surfaced Gym Floor

By Matthew Wood

This isn’t your grandfather’s Ocean Beach Recreation Center.

Oh sure, it’s the same building that has been on Santa Monica Avenue for the past 60-plus years. But recent renovations have sharpened up the place that gives kids of all ages a chance to, well, be a kid again.

The first thing you’ll notice is a brand-new paint job on the walls, giving the inside of the building a soothing feel with its blue hue.

The gymnasium floor was also resurfaced, along with cosmetic repairs like filling in holes in the walls and fixing windows that had been broken for far too long. A few ceiling fans were installed throughout.

Rec Center Director Brian Anthony told me:

“Everything looks better and is one color again. It’s the only time the gym has smelled good.”

Anthony has been running the Rec Center, along with five parks in the area, since 2009. He said the renovations took about three months, the biggest task being to paint the 12,000-square foot building that has seven rooms.

It took more than 150 gallons of paint for the gym alone, but the results are noticeable the moment you step in the building.

“It makes the room look brighter, for sure,” Anthony said.

The gym has been hosting all sorts of events for years. An afternoon open gym for basketball is taken over by volleyball games, tae kwon do and ceramics classes.

In the summer, the (real) kids overrun the place for summer day camp, complete with a mini-pool installed out back.

The building also hosts other classes like youth ballet, although the rec center doesn’t necessarily run the programs.

Part of that stems from budget cuts made a few years back that hampered a lot of the ability of the rec center to fund activities. Instead, it facilitates private companies like Fifth Quarter Sports, which runs an open basketball league two nights a week and a dodge ball league on Tuesday nights.

“There was a shift from rec center programs to letting others run these things,” Anthony said. “We all understand what was going on. I hope they don’t cut anymore.”

He said it’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the center can bring in groups who may have more expertise than rec center employees.

“As good as I look in a tutu, there are some things you just can’t un-see,” Anthony joked.

He hopes it’s just the beginning for a building old enough to still have traces of asbestos in the floors and lead paint in some doors. He would also like to replace a lot of the linoleum in the floors outside the gym.

“A lot of it is just putting in a service request,” he said. “A project like this was really just two guys working here until the job was done.”

Still, our center is one of the better facilities in the city, especially for its age. Anthony said he has seen people coming to use it for years, and there’s no reason for that to change.

“There’s a lot of history in all these rec centers,” he said. “It’s a feeling of community pride. It’s really a meeting place.”

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: