by Judi Uthus
Despite the weekend rains, over 800 community members poured into the new Agoura Hills Recreation and Event Center to celebrate the grand opening. They enjoyed free hot dogs, sodas, activities and tours of the new 23,000-sq.-ft. facility, learning about the many programs being offered for tots, teens, adults and seniors.
On seven acres, the new recreation and event center is located directly above the city’s City Hall and Library. Classes and programs are now underway at the modern complex that offers fitness studios; classrooms for programs such as Mommy & Me, after-school enrichment and adult learning; dedicated senior and teen areas; and outdoor play areas and patios.
Attending the grand opening was California State Senator for the 27th district and the city’s first mayor, Fran Pavley. “Thirty-three years ago we had one leaky and very small concrete building providing space for a childcare program in the morning and a place for seniors to play bingo a couple of days a week. We now have two beautiful community centers along with six parks. It’s an amazing achievement for our generation and for generations to come.”
Mayor Illece Buckley Weber told attendees, “Cross generations will be served in this wonderful and environmentally-friendly center.” She described how the city repurposed materials from the previous building, installed windows that will take advantage of natural sunlight, honored the dark skies ordinance, and is using reclaimed water for the draught resistant landscaping. The facility’s 3500-square-foot event center, which can be rented out by the public, features indoor/ outdoor space with spectacular views of the city.
The ceremony also included veteran residents who had helped develop many of the community programs over the years. Shaney Bogartz was instrumental in establishing senior programs that once operated out of make-do structures mentioned by Sen. Pavley. “Let’s all put up our hands and shout hurray!” Bogartz said, overjoyed those programs will now be held in a dedicated senior area at the center.
Teens also have a space to call their own at the new center. The “Garage” is an indoor/outdoor area accessed by a slide up door with a loft. Kailee Follette, who turns 13 this week, spoke on behalf of TPAC, the city’s teen planning advisory committee. “Thank you for giving us a place of our own,” she said. “We’ll treat it with the same respect you’ve shown us in developing it.”
With umbrellas and parkas, families ventured outdoors, parents enjoying the panoramic view of the city while kids checked out the interpretive play area’s climbable sculptures of local wildlife. “This is incredible and the view is beautiful,” said Agoura Hill resident Brady Richmond, attending the event with his two children and wife Molly, who added, “We’ll definitely be coming here often.”
Agoura Hills Recreation and Event Center is located at 29900 Ladyface Court, Agoura Hills, CA 91301. For the recreation brochure wil a listing of programs and classes visit the city’s website at http://ci.agoura-hills.ca.us/ or contact Community Services at (818) 597-7361.