Rep. Carbajal visits Goleta Community Center and provides $3 million in federal funding for building improvements

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GOLETA, Calif., August 22, 2022 Representative Salud Carbajal visited the Goleta Community Center (GCC) today, August 22, 2022, to see first-hand plans to use $3 million in federal community project funding it has provided to improve and help reopen the outdated installation. Goleta Director of Corporate Services Matt Fore led the tour, which was attended by Mayor Paula Perotte, council member James Kyriaco and staff from the town and Goleta Valley Community Center. The city-owned building at 5679 Hollister Avenue has been partially closed since January 2021 due to the need for seismic upgrades. Watch a video clip of the tour here:

The funding provided by Representative Carbajal will be used for the ADA and other building improvements which, along with the seismic upgrades, will allow the building to reopen safely. Representative Carbajal said: “The Goleta Valley Community Center plays a pivotal role in the community, serving all facets and age groups. I am proud to have secured $3 million for renovations through Community Project funding, helping to ensure that the Center remains a resource for many years to come.

Mayor Paula Perotte said, “It is imperative that we make this important community resource fully operational and available to the many and diverse populations who gather here. She continued, “We are beyond grateful for Representative Carbajal’s continued and successful efforts to secure the necessary funding for us to make ADA upgrades to this important city-owned building following the seismic upgrade project.

Typically, 100,000 visitors use the GCC each year, including an average of 250 senior citizens per day. More than 90 nonprofit organizations use the facility monthly. The GCC serves as a venue for classes and activities, including childcare, services for the elderly, and a host of other programs supporting the arts, literacy, and recreation. The community center also serves as a Red Cross shelter during natural disasters and a community center for the distribution of essential resources and services such as COVID testing and food distribution.

In order to make seismic improvements, the city is required to make ADA improvements. The first phase of ADA improvements will include the addition of ADA parking lot access aisles, route improvements from the bus stop on Hollister Avenue to the front door, new handrails on the access ramp at the front entrance and the addition of accessible toilet cubicles inside the toilets.

Future phases may include additional improvements to ADA access throughout the community center and parking lot and/or improvements to building infrastructure. These additional phases are under development.

The seismic upgrades will be funded by a $5 million Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Risk Mitigation Grant, which includes $1.3 million in matching funding from the City of Goleta. The funding will enable the installation of additional anchoring systems throughout the building to secure wall and ceiling connections and protect the building during an earthquake.

Once the seismic upgrades are complete, the auditorium and dining hall can safely reopen. Seismic upgrades are expected to begin in winter 2022. The first phase of ADA upgrades will follow shortly thereafter.

On January 1, 2023, the city takes over management of the Goleta Community Center, which is currently operated by the non-profit organization Goleta Valley Community Center (GVCC). The city acquired the Goleta Union School District GCC in 2013.

In total, Rep. Carbajal has secured more than $17 million for local projects, including $9,512,340 for community projects in Santa Barbara County.

Jill E. Washington