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This Week in City Hall: April 3

Council to receive $25 million in State funding for a complete renovation of the César Chávez Community Center

The César Chávez Community Center located at 2060 University Ave. (Brenda Flowers/Gazette)

City Council only has one item of substance on their agenda for discussion this week: authorizing the receipt of $25 million for "the substantial renovation of the César Chávez Community Center and related buildings." The funding comes from the State's Budget Act of 2022, which in total is bringing $300 million for projects in Riverside.sta

The city-owned Spanish Colonial-era building was built in 1928 as the original home of University Heights Middle School. The site was purchased by the City in 1976 for use as a park and the building is now home to the Riverside Arts Academy.

A complete renovation of the grounds and facility is in store. The project includes:

  • An entirely refurnished auditorium with new sound and lighting equipment,
  • A new roof, fire suppression, and alarm plus surveillance systems,
  • New HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and lighting;
  • ADA compliance improvements;
  • New interior finised (flooring, painting, etc.); and
  • Exterior site improvements including lighting, parking, walkways, and landscaping.

Once approved the project will begin immediately with the hiring of "design consultants" to develop the construction plans which are scheduled to be completed by July 2024. Construction will begin in the fall of 2024 and run through early 2026. The City must report on the completion of the project to the state by March 1, 2026.