The Isla Vista Community Center under construction

The County of Santa Barbara received a $435,000 grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development, all of which will go toward the construction of the Isla Vista community center. While the money will allow for a more complete final product, the additional work will push the opening of the center to fall of 2018, according to I.V. Community Services District (CSD) President Ethan Bertrand.

The center was scheduled to open at the end of this year and it would have been a “bare-bone” design, but this new money will be allocated for things like “greater aesthetics,” Bertrand said.

In February, the grant proposal came to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, where it was decided that the county’s general services department would apply for the grant. The grant is part of the Housing-Related Parks Program, which awards money based on the availability of affordable housing in the area. The grant’s purpose is for the construction or renovation of “park and recreation facilities,” according to the program’s website.

The county is the current owner of the center, but Bertrand said that once the center is up and running, the day-to-day operations will likely be shared between the CSD, the I.V. Recreation and Parks District, and the county.

The center has been in stasis for over a year, but with the creation of a local government in I.V. earlier this year, interest was revived in creating a space to house local events.

“Even though it’s going to take some more time, we’re now able to make this a much better building for the community to enjoy,” Bertrand said.


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