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Park project moving along

Laura Sturza

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

budget cuts.