Work has begun on a $4.3 million project that will add new recreation features and make upgrades to the Alex Fiore Teen Center and Goebel Adult Community Center in Thousand Oaks.
Outdoor renovations at the teen center, 1375 E. Janss Road, will include a multi-use court for basketball, volleyball and more, a skateboard plaza, an outdoor stage and shade structures.
Exterior improvements at the adult center, next door at 1385 E. Janss Road, will include a shaded rubber-surface fitness area and paving around an existing horseshow pit section.
The interiors of both buildings will also be renovated with upgraded bathrooms, new flooring and more.
The project is a joint venture of the city of Thousand Oaks and the Conejo Recreation and Park District. Work began last week.
The district owns the land and operates the facilities. The city constructed and owns the buildings. The teen center opened in 1989 while the adult center debuted in 1990.
"It's been over 30 years since they've been built and the community has kind of evolved with different interests," said Andrew Mooney, the district's senior park planner, on Wednesday. "So, it's really like breathing some new life into the buildings, as well as the exterior spaces, which are the large scope of the work."
Funding for the $4.3 million project comes from a $3 million general fund allocation from the city and a $1.3 million deferred maintenance and operations grant from the state.
Roughly 60% of the funding will be for the teen center's renovations with the remaining 40% for the adult center's improvements, Mooney said.
"The teen center is a good chunk of the work since the exterior space is a bit larger," he said.
Regular visitors at the adult center welcomed the changes.
"I don't know how long it's been since it's been renovated but a lot of people use this facility," said P.L. Halverson, 74, of Thousand Oaks, as he exited Thursday. "I would be in favor of all that. I think it would be beneficial to the community."
Barbara Young, 80, Thousand Oaks, plays bridge at the center three days a week.
"I think it's excellent — way overdue," she said of the renovations during one of her games.
In the afternoon Thursday, Darius Firoozbakhat, 11, of Westlake Village, walked into the teen center with his mom Jenny Ringnes. He was there to play in a volleyball game.
Darius had heard of the changes coming.
"It's cool," he said. "I would use them if I had the opportunity".
Nellie Cusworth, the district's board chairperson, said in a statement that the "city and state have been tremendous partners in the process. The grants support the district’s goals of providing safe spaces for children to learn and grow and seniors to congregate and much more."
Thousand Oaks City Manager Drew Powers said in a statement that the city's partnership with the district "helps to fund projects that enhance quality of life in Thousand Oaks.
"These new investments in the teen and adult centers will help to modernize both facilities for the enjoyment of residents for years to come," he said.
A groundbreaking will be held Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the teen center's parking lot. The public is invited, and lunch will be served.
Mike Harris covers the East County cities of Moorpark, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, as well as transportation countywide. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805-437-0323.
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This article originally appeared on Ventura County Star: Thousand Oaks teen, adult centers to get $4.3 million makeover