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Lathrop asks residents for community complex wishes

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POSTED March 21, 2010 1:51 a.m.
LATHROP – Residents will get another chance to share what they’d like to see added to the East Lathrop Community Complex when city officials meet at the Lathrop Senior Center on Tuesday, March 30.

Several dozen residents turned out last week to brainstorm a “wish list” for the complex that will fill out the property around the existing Head Start location and the Lathrop Skate Park. The  meeting was the second in a series hosted by the City of Lathrop and Stockton-based LDA Partners who are doing the design work.

The project site – which encompasses a city block and is bordered on all four sides by L Street, Seventh Street, Thomsen Road, and Sixth Street – is slated to be a youth and teen center with a portion of the building reserved for a public library. The current library which is housed in a building that the city leases doesn’t have nearly enough space, said Christine Eichblatt of the Parks and Recreation Department and the Community Development Department.

“The library portion of the building will likely be double the size of what patrons are used to now,” Eichblatt said. “And at this point it looks like it’s going to be the Parks and Recreation Department that will be running the youth center as opposed to other groups.”

With the third meeting in a series designed to involve the public in the planning process fast approaching, Lathrop’s Principal Planner Charlie Mullen is looking forward to another big turnout and positive dialogue that will hopefully appease all involved.

“It’s of tremendous importance to have the public involved in a project like this,” Mullen said. “It’s a community facility, and any time you can provide an opportunity for the community to get involved, the better off the product will be.

“We want to make sure that we do the best that we can to serve the needs of this community, and opening up forums like this is one way to do that.”

The Lathrop City Council approved the East Lathrop Community Center Master Plan a year ago, and chose the site partly because it’s the only one of the four quadrants that doesn’t have houses directly across the street.

Ideas expressed in past meetings for the youth center included constructing a performing arts stage for young thespians as well as a graffiti wall to allow for aspiring young artists to have a legal and creative outlet. Vibrant interior colors were also favored.

For more information on the East Lathrop Community Complex public workshop, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at www.ci.lathrop.ca.us/
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