The long-awaited 12,000 sq. ft. public facility will serve a variety of needs for the public
By Stephanie Barraza
Special to the Sun-Gazette
WOODLAKE – After roughly five years in the works, the City of Woodlake will host their ribbon-cutting ceremony for their community center this Friday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m.
Located at 145 N. Magnolia and sitting directly across from the city park, the 12,000-square foot building took approximately $4.3 million and three years to build after the property was donated to the city from the Woodlake Lion’s Club in 2015.
Acquiring the property, which was previously an old building, was required in order to qualify for a 40-year USDA loan to build a community center and the Woodlake Plaza.
“People ask me, ‘Why does Woodlake need a community center?’ and I say well, the city doesn’t have a public facility outside of city hall,” said community services director Jason Waters.
According to Waters, the November city council meeting will be held at the new center going forward, which is when they plan to start accepting requests to use the facility.
One of the first programs the city will write that will require use of the facility will be their basketball league program. Sign-ups for the basketball league will start in about a month and will use the facility in early February.
The building, which follows the city’s Spanish mission-style architecture, will include a full kitchen, gymnasium, senior center, access to public computers with WiFi, meeting quarters for the city council chamber and offices for the city’s water and sewer department.
The facility will also be used as a cooling center during the hot summer months and will also serve as a space for the city’s Parks and Recreation programs such as their dance and arts and crafts classes.
Waters says that once the first city council meeting is held in November, organizations and nonprofits will be able to make a request to use the building for their programs.
“Nonprofits will also be able to use this center extensively, so CSET will continue to provide lunch to seniors at the community center,” said Waters. “There will also be nonprofits that will be able to hold their community Thanksgiving meals there, so it won’t be a city-only facility, it will be a public building.”