The Goleta City Council continued discussing management plans for the Goleta Community Center during its special meeting Thursday, when it was decided that the council will extend the lease agreement with the Goleta Valley Community Center organization that runs the center to Dec. 31 and that the city will assume management on Jan. 1, 2023.
Since 1984, the center has been subleased to the Goleta Valley Community Center organization for a rent of $1 per year, and the organization has rented spaces out to the community for events, meetings and class rentals. It also coordinates the use of sports fields and pickleball courts.
The City Council wants to take over management of the center and has been developing a new Strategic Plan.
During Thursday’s meeting, Assistant City Manager Kristy Schmidt presented a draft management plan that said the city’s anticipated annual revenues from the community center would be about $343,880, while expenses would total about $598,381 annually.
The community center will be undergoing an $8 million seismic and ADA improvement project in the future. Until that project is completed, the center’s auditorium and dining hall are closed, further affecting revenues.
City staff also recommended that a Strategic Plan Working Group be formed to create the Strategic Plan for the center.
The Strategic Plan will include the city’s vision and mission for the center, strategic goals and objectives.
The City Council approved spending $100,000 from the General Fund to pay for a consultant working on the plan, and other expenses.
The Goleta Valley Community Center organization’s lease was originally expected to end on June 30, but council members and community members who spoke during public comment agreed that the city needs more time to create a Strategic Plan.
“What (the Goleta Valley Community Center organization) wants to do is work with the city to provide a service for the community,” GVCC treasurer John Profant said during public comment. “What we don’t understand is what the city’s vision for the community center is.”
Council members agreed that the city needs to figure out its vision for the center and decided to push the date for assuming management to Jan 1, 2023, but keep the timeline for strategic planning and construction projects the same.
“There’s a lot of new energy that I’ve experienced (at the community center) in the last little while,” Councilman James Kyriaco said. “The community really wants a revitalized, reinvigorated and rehabilitated community center.”
— Noozhawk staff writer Serena Guentz can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.