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Rosness Honored by Goleta Valley Community Center

What Goleta Valley Community Center executive director Randy Rosness thought was going to be a typical GVCC board meeting turned out to be a surprise party in his honor.


What Goleta Valley Community Center  executive director Randy Rosness thought was going to be a typical GVCC board meeting turned out to be a surprise party in his honor.

Secret invitations had been circulating for more than a week, plans were drawn up and a plaque was engraved. In the middle of their Oct. 23 meeting, his colleagues took him out into the courtyard and dedicated it to him, renaming it the “Randy Rosness Courtyard.” The small ceremony was followed by a potluck dinner.

The reason for their admiration was all around them: a courtyard Rosness had transformed from an inaccessible corner of the community center to a beautiful outdoor gathering place.

 “It was really a spontaneous thing,” said Rosness, who has been the center’s executive director for 19 years.

The spontaneous thing resulted in a door that was installed to give access to the area from the community center’s auditorium. Over the five years of this project and with help from volunteers and participants from the Sheriff’s Department Work Alternative Program, the bare ground around the courtyard’s single tree was hardscaped with a concrete patio, tiles, a pergola and a fountain. Plants were selected to soften the look of the place, and lights, tables, chairs and benches installed. Board member and artist Bill Shinn put finishing touches on the project with a wrought-iron gate into the courtyard and a sculpture of a ballerina on the wall nearest to the ballet classrooms.

“It was just an area that needed some attention,” Rosness said.

It has been that kind of attention, said board member Charlie Johnson, that earned Rosness “the utmost respect and admiration” of the board in its quest to keep the center affordable and accessible to the community.

“He can’t keep his hands off things,” said Johnson. “Sometimes you can see him riding the mower out there.”

And it extends beyond the community center, too: Rosness has supported other local organizations like Goleta Valley Beautiful . He was head of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce  in 1996. He’s taken supplies to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

But Rosness isn’t done with the courtyard yet. Even though the kids have already made it a favorite place to play and the adults enjoy the venue for events and gatherings, the man has at least one more element in his vision for the place they call “an oasis of beauty.”

“I’d like to put in a barbecue pit,” he said.

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