The City of Chula Vista’s Parks and Recreation Division is embracing a new era of community enhancements as it unveils two major improvement projects, the newly constructed Loma Verde Community Center, and the revitalized Norman Park Senior Center. These transformative endeavors exemplify the City’s commitment to enriching the lives of its residents.
At the heart of these projects lies the Parks and Recreation mission statement, “to enrich the community through recreation opportunities and services.” Driving this mission for over two decades is Karina Craig, the Acting Principal Recreation Manager for City of Chula Vista Parks and Recreation. Her unwavering dedication and passion for the City and its wonderful
community began when she started her career as a lifeguard and swim instructor in 1999. City Manager Maria Kachadoorian’s instrumental support for the Loma Verde Community Center project further highlights the City’s commitment to community empowerment through recreation.
The Loma Verde Community Center, a cornerstone of Chula Vista’s identity since its
establishment in 1971, has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis. The once iconic facility, beloved by generations of Chula Vista residents, had gradually fallen into disrepair over the years. However, with the completion of the demolition and rebuild of the facility, the center will stand as a testament to the City’s commitment to progress and community enrichment.
The facility was a hub for a diverse range of activities and programs, catering to the interests and needs of residents from both the east and west sides of Chula Vista. Loma Verde was a thriving center of community engagement. It offered fitness classes, dance, art, and preschool programs. It hosted special events and prominent athletes such as Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Cullen Jones. Each year Loma Verde hosted swimming lessons for over 1,000 Chula Vista Elementary School District fourth students through the Kaiser Permanente Operation Splash Grant. In addition, Loma Verde also had over 7,000 participants annually in its aquatic programs. The center played a significant role in promoting wellness and active living for Chula Vista residents. However, as the years passed, signs of deterioration became evident. The roof’s failure resulted
in persistent leaks, while the game room amenities were broken, and the floors and drywall were crumbling.
By 2020, the center had become a shadow of its former self, limiting the community’s ability to fully enjoy the recreational opportunities it once offered. A failing asset in desperate need of rejuvenation, Loma Verde’s future seemed uncertain.
However, in 2021, Measure P funding breathed new life into the community’s dreams, making the transformation of Loma Verde Community Center a reality. With community support and dedicated efforts from City leaders, the center now boasts a brand-new gymnasium, dance room, crafts room, fitness room, game room, and an outdoor turf fitness area. The new multi-use gymnasium offers basketball, volleyball, and pickleball courts, catering to a wide range of sporting interests.
The ambitious project doesn’t stop there, as plans for the fall of this year include the completion of a 50-meter competition pool, a 25-yard recreation pool, a splash pad with water features, an aquatics classroom, and new changing rooms. No longer a failing asset, it now stands as a testament to the City’s commitment to its Parks and Recreation mission.
Karina Craig expressed her delight, stating, “This facility will serve the community for years to come. Our once failing asset will now be the jewel of our Parks and Recreation Department. It will continue to be the site that creates memories that live in people’s hearts for a lifetime.”
While the Loma Verde Community Center thrives as a symbol of renewal, the Norman Park
Senior Center stands tall as an emblem of empowerment for Chula Vista’s senior community. With $2.4 million in Measure P funds and a generous grant of $450,000 from the Community Congregational Development Corporation, the aging facility underwent a comprehensive revitalization, ensuring a modern and comfortable environment for its patrons. Community Services Director Tracy Lamb expressed his profound pride in this major improvement project. He remarked, “This project exemplifies our commitment to our mission statement. The center will continue to serve as a vibrant hub of engagement, connecting people of all ages and backgrounds in meaningful and fulfilling ways.”
The improvements at the Norman Park Senior Center leave no stone unturned. With new
flooring, cabinetry, a remodeled kitchen, updated restrooms, and ADA improvements, the center is now accessible and inclusive for all seniors. Roofing and deck replacement, along with a new HVAC system, ensure the facility’s safety and comfort. Fresh coats of paint and new furniture bring a sense of vibrancy to the center, fostering a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
In addition to Measure P funds, the Community Congregational Development Corporation
contributed $450,000 towards enhancing the senior center’s recreational offerings. This generous funding allowed for the creation of indoor pickleball courts, catering to the growing interest in this popular sport among seniors. Furthermore, the outdoor area now features bocce ball courts, providing a delightful recreational option for seniors to enjoy friendly competition and social engagement. In an eco-conscious effort, the Norman Park Senior Center also received solar lighting for its outdoor fitness area. This green initiative not only reduces energy consumption, but also ensures seniors can engage in activities safely during evening hours.
Acting Parks and Recreation Administrator, Gil Contreras, emphasizes the importance of these improvements, stating, “These transformational projects are a testament to our dedication to community we serve. Both the Loma Verde Community Center and the Norman Park Senior Center have been revitalized to empower our residents and foster a sense of belonging.”
As Chula Vista celebrates these major improvement projects, the Parks and Recreation
Department stands proud, embodying its mission to serve the community. The Loma Verde
Community Center and the Norman Park Senior Center exemplify the City’s dedication to the community, creating vibrant spaces for residents of all ages to thrive, connect, and create cherished memories.
As the City of Chula Vista’s Parks and Recreation Division basks in the success of the
transformative Loma Verde Community Center and Norman Park Senior Center projects, we
eagerly anticipate a series of upcoming events and programs that continue to enrich the lives of our residents. Join us for the Movies in the Moonlight series, with the next screening scheduled at Millenia Park on Friday, August 18th. Experience the thrill of the Chula Vista Champions 5K Run on Saturday, September 16th, held at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center. Register your family today to receive the early bird discount. For our school aged residents, our Fall break kids camps offer exciting and engaging activities. Don’t forget to sign up for our affordable swim lessons, among many other wonderful programs we have at our various recreation centers located throughout the City. Additionally, you can make your special events even more memorable by renting a gazebo or field at one of our beautiful parks.
For more details on these
special events, programs, and rental options, visit our website at www.chulavistaca.gov/rec. Come and be a part of our vibrant community, where we foster connections and create cherished memories for everyone!