Maple Park center opens

Maple Park Recreation Center in Glendale finally opened its doors Saturday morning, sporting a renovated gym, new meeting and classrooms and even an air conditioner.

After a year of work, the badly needed repairs are complete.

“It was really old, leaking all over the place. There was damage from the water seepage from the roof, no air conditioning, and the plumbing was shot,” said city project manager Adrine Golnazarian. “This was sorely needed, and the public is going to really appreciate having nice cool rooms and plenty of bathrooms.”

Around two dozen children and teenagers from the local neighborhood were eager to get onto the basketball court on the second floor, and city officials could not cut the ribbons fast enough for them.

“This one is really nice,” said 17-year-old Stefan Abramian, who lives down the street from the park. “Before it was really plain and nothing like this.”

Other children armed with crayons were invited to contribute to the community center mural as one of two public art installations planned for Maple Park.

The mural, which will be assembled from pieces of the art finished by the children on Saturday, will hang downstairs in the center.

Another artist, John Matthews, will have a solar art piece installed next month.

In a more functional capacity, solar panels were added to the building and will provide 15% to 25% of the energy needs for the site, Golnazarian said.

Other renovations included adding handicapped-accessible bathrooms and an elevator to reach the redone gymn, as well as a number of sustainable building elements, including using recycled jeans as insulation, Mayor Laura Friedman said.

“What a great gift this is to the neighborhood,” Friedman said. “[Maple Park] is going to be treasured by the community.”

The park also boasts new picnic tables — already filled up early Saturday morning — and trees.

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