Beginning mid-July, nearly everything at the Goleta Community Center will reopen for community use.
The exceptions are the dining room and auditorium, which will reopen after seismic repairs are completed.
Originally built in 1927, the community center is an important gathering place for residents of Goleta. Located at 5679 Hollister Avenue, the property is owned by the city and operated by the nonprofit Goleta Valley Community Center organization.
The city, meanwhile, is seeking more than $8 million for seismic and disability access improvements at the center to bring it up to today’s standards and assure a safe facility for generations to come.
The city has applied to multiple granting agencies in an effort to secure the funding. The city received a Federal Emergency Management Association grant to design the seismic repairs and qualified for additional FEMA funding for construction. Goleta applied for the additional FEMA grant funds for construction, but since they are not guaranteed, additional grant opportunities are also being pursued.
As for the accessibility improvements, the city has set aside almost $294,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for that purpose.
Even once funding is secure, the project is likely to take several years to complete, according to a news release.
The closure of the auditorium and main dining room does not affect the other rooms at the Community Center, including the buildings occupied by the Rainbow School, CommUnify and the COVID-19 testing site on the west side of the center’s main building.
For information on room rentals and programs, contact Community Center staff at 805-967-1237.
To mitigate the closure of the auditorium and main dining room, city staff are working with the Community Center staff to evaluate other ideas for providing additional space for community programs.
The Goleta City Council will be considering the challenges and future of the Goleta Community Center at its Aug. 17 meeting.