North Long Beach residents will be able to get a glimpse of the new Houghton Park Community Center through a virtual unveiling and tour on June 30. The livestream will take place at 1 p.m. Tuesday on the city of Long Beach’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages and on YouTube @LongBeachCityCA.
“Our community is now home to the city’s newest and largest community center at the site of an important historic landmark,” 9th District Councilman Rex Richardson said in a statement. “I look forward to celebrating with our neighbors once we can fully open it for public use.”
To comply with the city’s current health orders, the center will not be open to the public. Matthew Hamlett, Richardson’s chief of staff, said the virtual tour—which will be livestreamed on the city’s social media channels—will at least give residents a look inside the facility.
The newly-renovated center is over 6,000 square-feet and will provide recreational programs for the seniors and youth of the North Long Beach community, Hamlett said. The center was originally built in 1930, and was expanded in 1987. The facility was dubbed the “soul” of North Long Beach.
The new center will feature a weightlifting gym, photo and video editing workshops, the city’s extended summer programs and a sound garden. A partnership with the Long Beach Community Foundation funded the interactive playground where children can play with different musical instruments, Hamlett said.
Richardson said the opening of the community center “is a testament to years of community planning and advocacy.”
Hamlett, who grew up in North Long Beach, said the center helps close a gap for local residents who wanted contemporary services closer to their part of town.
“It’s one of the nicest community centers in the city,” he said. “We’re not used to having these nice things.”
The new center is a component of the Houghton Park Master Plan, which the Long Beach City Council adopted in 2015. It was funded by $5,741,896 from Measure A and $4,482,612 from other sources including one-time funds from FY14, according to city documents.