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Community Center Enlargement Studied

City officials will review architectural designs for the first phase of the Downtown Community Center to see whether the $8-million project can be expanded without going over budget.

Chris Jarvi, parks and recreation director, said the center can handle all planned uses when it’s finished in mid-1997.

But if the city can afford the cost and the location is suitable, city officials prefer to enlarge the main assembly room in case there is an increased need for space by community groups, Jarvi said.

The community center, to be built on Philadelphia Street between Center Street and Broadway, is an important element of the Anaheim Redevelopment Agency’s plans to revitalize a 60-block area of downtown.

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The center’s first phase will house senior citizen activities, an art gallery, a gymnasium, a boxing club, human services offices and meeting and activity rooms.

Design plans for the 40,000-square-foot--or possibly larger--facility include Craftsman-style architectural elements, wood rafters, a stone fireplace and vine-covered trellises at entryways.

“The center will mean a lot at a lot of different levels,” Jarvi said. The facility will attract people to the downtown area, he said, by serving the needs of youth, seniors and the cultural arts community.

If the project goes according to schedule, construction will begin next summer. The center will be funded primarily by federal Community Development Block Grants, but the city also is seeking support from corporations and foundations.

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