Project manager Ismael Medrano gives a tour of the new facilities. PHOTO BY ESTHER KANG
City officials and community members celebrated the grand reopening of the Joslyn Community Center in Manhattan Beach Thursday afternoon, commemorating the long-anticipated event after the center closed its doors in January 2011 for major renovations.
Mayor Wayne Powell, Manhattan Beach police chief Eve Irvine, Community Development Department director Richard Thompson and Parks & Recreation Department director Richard Gill were among those in attendance.
“This is going to be great,” Mayor Powell told the crowd of seniors and city staff. “I want to thank you all for coming out here, and let’s reopen Joslyn Center!”
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, project manager Ismael Medrano led a group of seniors on a tour of the new facilities.
“It was worth the wait,” said Marge Hesse, a Manhattan Beach senior. “But the women’s restroom could’ve been designed better.”
Since the building of the Joslyn Center in 1965, this is by far the largest renovation that the city has undertaken on the building, said Idris Al-Oboudi, recreation services manager of the Parks & Recreation Department.
The renovations, which were fully funded by the city, entailed “a lot of things you don’t see but are very important,” including the piping system, electricity, air conditioning, cable and WiFi, Al-Oboudi explained. Bringing the building up to code under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was also a key part in the renovations, such as remodeling restrooms with handicap stalls and installing new doors and floors.
The community center also has a new reception area, an entirely rebuilt kitchen and improved sound throughout the building with sound buffers and barriers in rooms “to make it more functional for both small and large meetings,” he said.
“We already had a lot of these elements, but the renovation explored it,” Al-Oboudi said. “All of these renovations are not cosmetic but are very essential to serve the entire community.”