Community center plan encounters problem – press enterprise

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LAKE ELSINORE – Riverside County’s plan to convert an abandoned school into a community center and park serving Lakeland Village has encountered a problem.

As renovations progress to make the main building suitable for public use, county park administrators are stuck with 13 aging modular portable buildings that once housed classrooms on the property.

Although the 960 square foot structures were recently auctioned for $ 400 apiece, the buyer was unable to remove them – and even damaged one while trying to haul it in an undersized pickup, Kristen Huyck , legislative assistant of the first district. County supervisor Kevin Jeffries said.

“We were excited when we thought we could sell them for a small fee and they would be scrapped, but now we’re back to square one,” Huyck said.

Jeffries, a longtime resident of Lakeland Village, is spearheading the initiative to create the city’s first true community center from the campus that once housed Butterfield Elementary School.

At Jeffries’ request, the county bought the 18.5-acre property for $ 2.1 million last year from the Lake Elsinore Unified School District, which closed the school in 2010.

“We have a lot of enthusiasm from the community (for the center),” Jeffries said. “People are already talking about becoming volunteers. “

Teams are making progress in rejuvenating the main campus building, including replacing the roof and flooring, so that it can be used for gatherings as well as programs for adults and children. A very first community meeting is scheduled for February 24.

Eventually, the Jeffries district office in Lake Elsinore off I-15 will be moved to one of the five permanent buildings on campus.

“Everything will be done in incremental steps as we move forward,” Jeffries said.

Getting rid of modular buildings would free up space for outdoor recreation facilities such as basketball and handball, and improve the appearance of the field. Buildings are frequently vandalized.

“Having the mods out there is just an eyesore and it’s an unattractive nuisance,” Huyck said. “It looks like a neglected site.”

She said the parks division had received a quote to transport them at a cost of $ 5,000 each.

“The idea of ​​paying $ 60,000 to remove them is something that we try to avoid so that we can put it into programs and improving the installation,” Huyck said.

Contact the author: 951-368-9690 or [email protected]


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