Rideout Community Center: Creating a mixed use community center in Tahoe City
Special to the Sun
TAHOE CITY and#8212; The Tahoe City PUD Parks and Recreation Department has been operating the Rideout Community Center for approximately three years. The challenge from the beginning was to convert an elementary school into a bona fide community center. We feel the key to that success is to forge community partnerships to create a mixed use community center. With ever decreasing revenues it is incumbent upon us to either create or facilitate what the community has asked for. Thus, finding partners with the same vision that will benefit the community and leverage each others resources is imperative. But, in order for us to have long-term sustainability our partners need to be diverse and come from different sectors. The usual community center partners are education, social services and nonprofits. New partners consist of healthcare providers, Foundations, insurance companies and retail businesses.
When deciding who those partners will be we ask ourselves two basic questions. What needs do we have and who can provide them and what assets do we have and who needs them? Finding these commonalities in these multi-use resources is crucial.
One of the assets at Rideout is a kitchen. Currently the kitchen is woefully inadequate. Nevertheless we have partnered with local philanthropist Melanie Jackson to kick start a kitchen renovation project. This will allow us to offer culinary classes, local catering use and enhance rental opportunities.
North Tahoe Little League has been our partner for a number of years. Together we have helped facilitate the little league program. Recently, we built an indoor batting cage at Rideout Community Center. This will give local baseball players the opportunity to practice and develop their skills while the fields are still covered in snow.
Another asset of Rideout is available class room space. Hypothetically, we could partner with Placer County and offer a satellite library or a Sheriffs sub-station on the West Shore.
We could partner with a local pre-school or Tahoe Forest Hospital or Senior Services for that matter and provide them with a facility while they provide the program.
Social services provided by North Lake Tahoe Family Resource Center in Kings Beach could offer their programs and services in one of our classrooms. Currently, they offer and#8220;Lets Grow Togetherand#8221; on the first Wednesday of every month from 9:30-11:30 a.m. This is a bilingual program for children 0-5 years old and their parents.
The old adage united we stand, divided we fall can have a direct application to the success of Rideout Community Center. If you have any suggestions or would like to partner with us contact us on our Facebook page and give us your ideas.
For more information contact the Parks and Recreation Office at 530-583-3440, ext. 14, 740 Timberland Lane, Tahoe City or visit http://www.tahoecitypud.com or http://www.facebook.com/tahoecityparksandrecreation and check out what weand#8217;re doing to enhance your community.
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Xavier Becerra was a candidate for California’s Attorney General in November 2018. Previously he served in the U.S. House of Representatives for Los Angeles.