Danville Express

Newsfront - August 17, 2007

Oak Hill Community Center to open on schedule

Lakeside facility will host County Mayors' Conference in early September

by Jordan M. Doronila

The Oak Hill Community Center in Danville is almost finished and will be ready to host 19 mayors next month.

"It's coming right along," said Town Manager Joe Calabrigo. "It's going to be done on schedule. What I'm being told is that it will be ready by the end of month."

The new center at Oak Hill Park on Stone Valley Road will host the Contra Costa County Mayors' Conference on Thursday, Sept. 6. Mayors from 19 cities in the county meet monthly, and September is Danville's turn to host the event.

Mayor Mike Shimansky said earlier this month that he thought the conference would have to be held somewhere else in Danville because they were not sure of a completion date for the Oak Hill Community Center.

Calabrigo said Tuesday that it will be completed, as scheduled, by the end of August. He mentioned that the original schedule listed completion for the middle to the end of the month.

"That's good news," he said. "We are looking forward to that."

He noted that some areas of the building still need finishing, and permits will have to be signed off in the next few weeks. Town staff plans to hold an open house for the public in the future, Calabrigo said.

"I'm pretty sure once people see it there will be a lot of interest in using it," he said. "The facility, we would expect, would be in fairly heavy demand with classes and programs and rentals. It's in an ideal location."

The center, which was approved in February 2006, was designed to blend in with Oak Hill Park. A 36-inch oak tree rises through the building's octagon terrace. The center will have a main lobby, a reception area, a staff office and a 1,200-square-foot combined meeting room, which can accommodate up to 200 people.

The 6,200-square-foot facility cost the town approximately $4 million. The center's parking lot will have 46 stalls, with handicap and compact slots at the front. This more than doubles parking at Oak Hill Park.

To create more parking space, the town had to cut down several sycamore and redwood trees, Calabrigo said. Five redwood trees remain, and they had a history of pressing against another row of redwood trees, which is now gone.

"We are monitoring their health," Calabrigo said. "They are adjusting."

"It's going to take a little time," he added.

At the September mayors' conference, emergency preparedness and security will be discussed, Calabrigo said. Mayors will address issues in their cities and the County Board of Supervisors may also partake. The business portion of the event at 6:30 p.m. is open to the public.

Calabrigo said he was going to see the updates at the Oak Hill Community Center soon.

"I'm going to walk through the building," he said. "The excitement that we feel with the pending completion is somewhat mitigated by all the last minute stuff that needs to be done."

"It's going to be a real thrill," he added.


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