Community Center closes for two-year remodel

$23.5 million project will expand, upgrade lively social hub at Rengstorff Park

Here's the good news: the Mountain View Community Center at Rengstorff Park will get a much-needed remodel starting later this month to expand and spruce up the aging facility.

But then there's the bad news -- those upgrades are expected to cost $23.5 million and will require the bustling community center to shut down for the next two years. The center is scheduled to close for construction starting on Saturday, Aug. 12.

Recreation Supervisor Kristine Crosby gave assurances the improvements would be worth the sacrifice. The community center was originally built in the 1960s and that age is showing, she said. The center lacks adequate space to meet the demand of all the classes, day camps and groups that want to use it, she said.

"We've already run out of space. If you come here in the evening, this place is packed," she said. "Every room here is utilized, and we have to turn people away because there's not enough space."

For those reasons, the community center's users will need to tough it out for next couple of years. Crosby said her team tried their best to relocate those groups to other public facilities. The Recreation Department's customer services and front desk are being moved to the Senior Center just a short walk from the park. Meanwhile, preschool and day-care programs are being relocated to The View Teen Center on Escuela Avenue.

But some of the city's recreation classes and activities will be reduced, Crosby warned. She said she expected space in many city classes and activities to be "about 5 to 10 percent" smaller due a lack of rooms.

When complete sometime in mid-2019, the new Rengstorff Park community center will have an additional 7,000 square feet of space, increasing its total size to 28,600 square feet. That expansion will include a new social hall big enough for weddings, corporate parties or other large events, as well as two new fitness and dance rooms and four multipurpose rooms. A new preschool room is also being built as part of the project.

The upgrades will also address a long list of the problems, inlcuding accessibility, aging plumbing, a lack of elevators and ramps that don't comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

City leaders made a late addition to the project, a $169,000 solar-power system for the community center's roof. City Council members also agreed to spend an extra $181,000 for a pricier siding for the center, which Public Works officials believe will reduce future maintenance costs.

Other facilities at Rengstorff Park, including the pool and tennis courts, will remain open under their usual schedules during the construction.

As part of the project, the city will also work on creating a new traffic signal and safety improvements at Rengstorff and Stanford avenues. Those upgrades are budgeted to cost about $1.4 million.

The City Council unanimously approved the costs of the community center upgrades at a meeting in June.


23 people like this
Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Aug 4, 2017 at 3:29 pm

Awesome.. can't wait to not use the new center as much as I never used the old center.

What's the over/under on the final bill? $23.5 million will look like a bargain 3 years from now when this thing is a year behind schedule and blows the budget.

30 people like this
Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Aug 4, 2017 at 3:35 pm

What are they going to do about all the bums, vagrants, and other undesirables hanging out all day in the park?

59 people like this
Posted by Shafted again
a resident of Slater
on Aug 4, 2017 at 6:40 pm

They took the park fees collected to buy new parks and are using them to build new office space for staff. Don't be deceived! We have been screwed yet again by city staff working for themselves not the people who live here!

12 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 4, 2017 at 11:01 pm

This is terrible timing for the homeless, since the Mountain View Library will be remodeled hopefully starting in Sept through part of 2018.

From the Mercury News: Recognizing the evolution of the purpose of library services, the Mountain View City Council has approved a $3.8 million project to remodel the Mountain View Library.
The project is part of the city’s Capital Improvement Program for 2017-18 that was approved in June. The money for the library will come from the Shoreline Community Public Benefit Fund.

8 people like this
Posted by MV resident
a resident of Castro City
on Aug 5, 2017 at 5:45 pm

When they built the new library 20 years ago, they moved the current facility to trailers out by Middlefield and Moffett during the construction, since the city still needed a library. So we don't need a community center for two years?

In two years, most of us can't remember what was torn down to make all the new housing along ECR and San Antonio. So why should we remember what the Community Center was for?

Why not just turn the current building into a homeless center, since they will be the ones who need it the most?

17 people like this
Posted by Mark
a resident of Shoreline West
on Aug 7, 2017 at 8:05 pm

TWO YEARS??? Closed for TWO YEARS??? You could tear down the community center and build a TEN STORY HIGHRISE in less than TWO YEARS!!! WHO is doing the "upgrading", a bunch of hamsters? And just exactly WHAT is being built AND FOR WHOM is it being built?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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