In building the city’s newest recreation center since 1972,
Principal Architect Larry Wolff wants to give residents a building
that reflects the mostly youthful population who will use it, making
it a “space that is vital and has lots of energy.”
The city hired his firm, WLC Architects, Inc. -- designers of the
city’s Police and Fire Headquarters -- to work on the two-acre,
$6-million South San Fernando Park Project.
The facility will not be as “prominent as the Police and Fire
Building,” said Phillip Clifford, the city’s Capital Projects
Manager, and will blend the architecture with green space “similar to
the success at the new Buena Vista Library.”
Along South San Fernando Boulevard between Providencia Avenue and
Cedar Street, the center and Community School will serve one
Burbank’s most heavily populated and economically disadvantaged
Design work has yet to begin, but early ideas point to building a
large, multi-use space that will adapt easily for classes and
“There aren’t that many [buildings] that focus on the needs of
youth,” Wolff said.
The architect said he is “really optimistic and encouraged” that
the project will meet the expectations of young people because of the
strong partnership that exists between the city and the school
City officials met last year with stakeholders in the project,
including residents, the Mayor’s Youth Task Force, and the school
board, and has scheduled additional town hall meetings for Feb. 20
and March 6.
The community center will likely include recreation space,
classroom areas for mentoring and teen programs, and career and
family counseling. The second floor of the 16,000-square-foot
building is planned to house the school district’s Community School.
The city hopes that the project will jump-start redevelopment of
the San Fernando district.
“It certainly is a kick-off that is intended to send a message to
businesses that we are very serious about the revitalization of the
area,” Assistant City Manager Mary Alvord said.
The project is slated to break ground April 2004 and open May
2005, and has been fully funded with federal, state, county and city
money, which Clifford said will not be affected by proposed state