The Isla Vista Recreation and Park District held a meeting Thursday night to discuss a community workshop on the Estero Park project and April’s Earth Day celebration.

The Estero Park community center was the main agenda item at the meeting. The IVRPD expects the 30,000-40,000 square foot facility, which will be located in Estero Park on the corner of Sueno Road and Camino del Sur, to cost approximately $9 million. Scheduled to open March 1, 2007, the facility will include a basketball court, a skate park, volleyball courts, picnic areas and community gardens.

IVRPD is hosting a community center workshop this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Isla Vista Theater to receive input on the center. Derek Johnson, general manager of the IVRPD, said it is important for the public to participate in the decision process in order “to best serve the need of the public.”

The workshop will include a presentation by a representative from Michael Dennis & Associates, the architectural firm responsible for building the center. Attendees will meet in groups to discuss the center and fill out surveys for the Estero Park Master Plan taskforce. The workshop will also be conducted in Spanish.

According to IVRPD, the purpose of the workshop is to determine the exact location of the site and to find a way to accommodate both the existing and proposed features of the park.

The IVRPD also discussed the annual Earth Day celebration, which will be held April 24 at Anisq’ Oyo’ Park from 9 a.m. to midnight and is sponsored by the Associated Students Environmental Affairs Board (EAB). The IVRPD unanimously agreed to waive the $410 fee that is usually charged for use of the park. EAB member Noelle Boucquey said the board’s funds are spread very thin and asked the IVRPD to waive the fees.

Craig Geyer, an I.V. property owner, said the EAB should focus on raising enough money to pay the fee because IVRPD is currently going through its own financial struggle.

“Before someone is granted a waiver, they should go to organizations and businesses in the community in order to get donations. That would bring the community together,” Geyer said.

IVRPD board member Bryan Brown said Geyer’s proposal to take contributions was reasonable.

“The least we can do is to make sure Earth Day, of all days, is successful,” Brown said.

The Earth Day celebration will include musical performances, a public art display, face painting, environmental speakers and other activities.