The Park de la Cruz Community Center officially opened in City Heights Saturday.
Mayor Todd Gloria, City Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera and the San Diego Parks Foundation honored the new community center with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The 33,000 square foot facility features a public gymnasium, recreation room and a number of multi-purpose rooms for the community to use.
It is also home to the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department’s Therapeutic Recreation and AgeWell Services programs providing a variety of important services and opportunities to socialize for residents with special needs and older adults.
The facility was previously home to the Copley-Price Family YMCA.
"I'm glad that [Therapeutic Recreation and AgeWell Services] have a home here, and that means that the folks in our community, our fellow San Diegans who use these programs now have a state of the art facility where they can feel a part of our community...where they can feel invested, seen, heard and helped," Gloria said.
The center also features a fitness room with special equipment so people of all abilities can exercise.
Gloria added that construction will soon be underway for a sensory room at the new community center. He said the space will be for individuals with sensory impairments, and will help individuals learn how to interact with the world around them in a "safe and inviting" way.
Plans are also in the works for a special garden and a kitchen to give older adults and individuals "important skills to give them independent and fulfilling, satisfying lives," Gloria said.
Photos: Mayor, Councilmember Elo-Rivera, Parks Foundation Celebrate Grand Opening of Community Center in City Heights
Councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera said the celebratory ribbon cutting was a reminder that city spaces must be accessible to everyone.
"Recreation is crucial to the spirit and health of every member of our communities," Elo-Rivera said. "Both the Mayor and I believe in park access for all...these types of facilities and services have a ripple effect in improving the quality of life of our communities to make us happier, healthier and safer."
District Manager of San Diego Parks and Recreation Department, Therapeutic Recreation and Agewell Services Kristi Fenick said, "We're serving the City Heights community, but individuals with disabilities and older adults live everywhere, so we are welcoming everyone from all different communities here."