State Adds $450,000 for Oxnard Gym

A proposal to build a $950,000 public gymnasium in Oxnard’s barrio, the Colonia, has received $450,000 in state funding.

A state Senate bill that allocates the money became law without Gov. George Deukemejian’s signature last Friday.

The measure was proposed by state Sen. Henry J. Mello (D-Watsonville) to fund 15 recreational projects statewide with unspent portions of past park bond measures. It received local support from Assemblyman Jack O’Connell (D-Carpinteria) after Deukmejian vetoed funding for the Oxnard gymnasium in June.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” O’Connell said. “This will enable the youngsters in east Oxnard, of which there are so many, to channel their energies in a positive manner.”


Nearly 50% of the 20,000 people who live within a square mile of the project are younger than 20, Oxnard parks and recreation Director Gary Davis said.

The gymnasium, which could be built within two years, is to offer facilities for basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and badminton as well as seating for 200 spectators. Davis said federal block grants for projects in low-income neighborhoods probably will cover the city’s contribution.