The Isla Vista Recreation and Park District dealt with plans for a new community center, a lawsuit and a new board member at its Thursday night meeting.
The IVRPD voted unanimously to approve a lease for the I.V. Community Center last night. The lease allows the board to move forward with its plans to construct a community center, a project that has been in the works for over three years.
The facility will be a collaboration between the I.V. Youth Projects, the Channel Islands YMCA and ONEgeneration, a California public benefit corporation that will provide elderly activities at the center. IVYP and CIYMCA are supposed to provide after-school tutoring and possibly a skateboard park.
The future of the skate park depends on funding, a major concern for the board since the proposed center has an estimated price tag of $9 million. The future tenants of the facility will begin raising the needed money by soliciting donors, corporations, foundations and the state government.
The Orfalea Family Foundation, founded by UCSB alumnus and Kinkos founder Paul Orfalea, plans to donate $1.6 million toward the center as soon as the lease is finalized.
The center will be located near the I.V. Teen Center and is supposed to be completed within three to five years.
IVRPD is currently facing a lawsuit that has already cost the district $110,000 and has not yet gone to court. The suit, Libertarian Party of Santa Barbara County v. Isla Vista Recreation and Park District, has drained much of the district’s existing funding.
“The lawsuit is the reason that we’ve stopped all expenditures except that which is absolutely necessary,” IVRPD treasurer Diane Conn said.
During last night’s meeting, the board also elected Fernando Ramirez as an IVRPD director.
Ramirez, a third-year political science major, was unanimously selected to become the successor to Marie Schiro, who recently resigned after moving out of I.V.
“Mr. Ramirez will be a great liaison because he is a student, and they’re a big part of our population,” Conn said. “Also he works with El Congreso, and they work well with the Hispanic community.”