Spotlight

The Background

The Scripps Ranch Community Center (SRCC)--formerly the Information Center--was originally constructed on a different site in Scripps Ranch. It had to be cut up into three pieces to transport it up Scripps Poway Parkway to its current location on Cypress Canyon Road.

For those who have lived here more than a decade, you may recall the facility as the SR Villages sales pavilion, then located where Jack-in-the Box is now. The current building is the centerpiece of a garden planted with drought-sensitive flowers and maintained as Butterfly Park by the Miramar Ranch North Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) crews overseen by city employee Geoff Alpert and Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC) chair Bill Crooks.

Why does Scripps Ranch have a Community Center facility? The story starts with a dedicated group of community volunteer leaders from the MRNPC and the SRCA. They worked collaboratively with the city and developers McMillin and Brookfield to keep the center from being de-constructed as the Scripps Ranch Villages community buildout finalized in 1999. In tandem with then-Mayor Susan Golding's plan for Community Service Centers that would bring city services such as passports and water bill processing to communities, the city agreed to move the facility and allow the SRCA to establish its office along with designated meeting room space.

On September 20, 2000, then-Mayor Susan Golding recognized the creative vision and tireless dedication of four Scripps Ranch residents who "made this happen." All four of these residents are still active volunteers a decade later, validating their respective selections as charter members of the SR Volunteer Hall of Fame: then-MRNPC chair Claudia Tedford, and SRCA officers Wes Danskin, Marc Sorensen, and Bob Dingeman. Claudia now leads the capital campaign to bring a YMCA facility to Scripps Ranch, Wes serves as the SRCA's historian, Marc chairs the SR Recreation Council and the older SRMAD, and Bob serves the community 7/24 from his "Mister SR" email as the SRCA president emeritus and author of "What's Happening" in this Newsletter.

In addition, an SRCA committee chaired by Bob Cavanagh worked with the city on the "look and feel" of the building, including interior design and wireless network services. These were provided by volunteers Victoria Mazelli and Greg Minter, respectively, with initial outreach to the SR schools by volunteer Gloria Tran. Soon after, Bob became an SRCA officer, a volunteer role he still serves today. Gloria and Victoria still are involved a decade later--Gloria is an active volunteer with the schools, while Victoria gives her time to the library. Greg maintains the SRCA website, when not on duty as a San Diego police officer.

The Transition

The city's budget dilemma caused the layoff of the SRCC's city staff and an initial plan to shutter the facility in December 2008. The SRCA, however, worked collaboratively with the city on a way to keep the unstaffed center available for community-benefit group meetings. The mayor's special projects manager, Gerry Braun, deserves special thanks. He was instrumental in coordinating with many city departments to allow the SRCA's negotiation of an occupancy permit to ensure the meeting room continuity.

The Present

In addition to planning groups and related committees, the SRCC has grown over the past nine months to provide 40+ organizations with meeting rooms, including homeowners association boards, the SR Welcome Club, Toastmasters, two Bridge Club chapters, and the SRCA's two newest initiatives supporting the future of Scripps Ranch: the Elder Care Alliance and Sustainable Scripps Ranch committees.

The facility has two meeting areas:

  • The E.W. Scripps lobby room; it can accommodate up to 50 people with flexible seating configurations; and,
  • The Nackey Conference Room with a rectangular table and 15 chairs.

In the past two months, the SRCC has averaged more than 70 meetings per month, including 10 days per month where both rooms were used simultaneously. If you have a community-benefit organization with interest in using the SRCC, you can view the calendar at [www.scrippsranch.org/infocenter/infocenter.asp] and can clarify room charges via an email link on that webpage.

The Future

The SRCA's vision is to work closely with Councilmember Carl DeMaio--who uses the SRCC for resident appointments on most Fridays--and the mayor's office to make the SRCC a solar-energized facility, in the "green" tradition of the SRCA and the city's initiatives.

Please join me in thanking our dedicated community leader volunteers Wes, Claudia, Marc, Bob Dingeman, Greg, Victoria, Gloria, and Bob Cavanagh for the vision they had to enable the city's Community Service Center concept to ultimately evolve into the SRCC of today. Please thank the council and mayor's office, particularly Gerry Braun, for their reconsideration of the facility's closure plans.

Finally, please thank the many community volunteers who make Scripps Ranch what it is, including your neighborhood's district representative and the entire SRCA Board listed on page 77. Don't forget the volunteers who deliver this Newsletter to you monthly and those who lead the 40+ organizations currently using the SRCC for the long-term benefit of the community.