By Ken Striplin
Serving the City of Santa Clarita is something that I am truly passionate about. I take immense pride in the work that City staff completes on a daily basis. From making sure our roads are smooth and safe to creating drug prevention programs for our students – all of these projects make a difference in the lives of our residents. There is one project in the works that has me counting the days until its completion. That is our new Canyon Country Community Center.
This project is unique in that we didn’t search for a building we could fit our project into – but we searched for a site that could be home to all that we imagined the new Center to be. We landed on the nine acres at Soledad and Sierra Highway. After doing extensive community outreach it was clear that this site was the best location thanks to the fact that it is easily accessible. Many residents will be able to walk to the Community Center from their homes or take a short bus trip on Santa Clarita Transit.
You no doubt have seen the flurry of activity taking place on the site. Our crews have taken down two of the three old buildings and are currently demolishing the final one. Once all the buildings are down, the last thing to be removed will be the giant billboards right on the corner.
The new Canyon Country Community Center will completely change the look of Canyon Country. When people drive east into that part of the City, instead of being greeted by giant billboards and auto shops, they will see lush green landscaping and beautiful event spaces surrounding the new Center. It will be the new site that welcomes people to Canyon Country.
Besides the improved look of the area, this will also be a vital hub for the community. When completed, the new Center will offer cultural enrichment in the form of classes, activities, programs and more for both youth and adults, as well as special community events and workshops that will provide opportunities for personal and professional development.
The center complex will also include an events stage, computer labs, children’s play area, open turf play area, half-court basketball and a place where films can be shown. Inside the Community Center, residents will be able to take advantage of courses and programming in a full-size gymnasium, with pickleball, a fitness room, teaching kitchen and a number of classroom and meeting room spaces.
I look forward to the City Council holding an official groundbreaking for the site in the spring, with the new Canyon Country Community Center on track for a ribbon cutting in 2020. This new space will offer enrichment, activities and learning opportunities to our City, and Canyon Country especially. I know I am not the only one counting down the days until the Center is ready to welcome the community.
Ken Striplin is the Santa Clarita City Manager and can be reached at [email protected].