Council members held a study session Tuesday to discuss ideas for an upgrade of Rengstorff Park with the intention of making it a "safe and enjoyable" place.
The city is now starting a process that will consider many possibilities for the park, including new vehicle and pedestrian entrances, new infrastructure such as playground and pool facilities, and possibly closing off a portion of Crisanto Avenue to extend the park northward.
"The sky is the limit" for the park's design, said council member Mike Kasperzak, who added that the city should consider rebuilding the 50-year-old Community Center there, and making it as tall as possible -- four stories tall if need be -- to save open space.
Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga said the lack of air conditioning in the existing Community Center makes it unbearable to use in the summer. Fixing it has been put off due to budget cuts.
Council member Jac Siegel and others expressed support for closing off portions of Crisanto Avenue so the property could be incorporated into the park. The street will have limited access if a proposed grade-separated railroad crossing is built at Rengstorff Avenue, which would run Rengstorff under the railroad tracks.
The council wanted to include in the plan the church property at 263 Escuela Ave. across from the Senior Center, which it purchased for $3.5 million in June. Some members mentioned the possibility of moving the city's Community Center to the property, which is still used by the Rock Church of Mountain View.
"Moving the community center to the Rock Church may be a great idea, but I don't want to wait 20 to 30 years for a (nice) Community Center," said council member Ronit Bryant.