DISCOVERY BAY -- Escrow for property slated as home for a long-sought community center is expected to close as early as Monday.
In anticipation of the deal being completed, the Community Services District board made several moves this week to make the transition as seamless as possible.
Directors agreed Wednesday to put up to $60,000 toward keeping the Discovery Bay Athletic Club building -- which would become the community center -- open in its existing capacity until June 30. The district's 7.4-acre portion of the property, on the northeast corner of Discovery Bay Boulevard and Willow Lake Road, includes the athletic club.
Several club members expressed concern at recent meetings that the town's efforts to create a center would close the fitness center, depriving its almost 250 users of a place to take exercise classes, play tennis and swim.
Director Kevin Graves, who also chairs the town's community center committee, says the expenditure gives the town time to evaluate its options.
"It doesn't make sense to make a snap decision and shut it down, only to open it right back up," Graves said. "This (escrow) process has happened so quickly, it gives us time to breathe and see what we have on our hands, what the possibilities are and see how we can make it serve the entire community."
According to district estimates, the cost to run the center is about $20,000 per month. Fees from current users would cover at least $10,000 of that; the district would handle the remainder.
The board also agreed to put $120,000 toward improving the "need-to-do safety items" around the property, including the parking lot, sidewalks and other potential risk management problems, Graves said.
Money for both items will come from Zone 8 funds, which are designated for recreation and landscape projects.
The board also agreed on a name Wednesday, keeping it simply "Discovery Bay Community Center" to reflect that it will be a recreational hub for all residents.
Discovery Bay also agreed to a property lot split with the Delta Community Presbyterian Church for the 10.24-acre site -- a county requirement that must be in place before escrow can close, general manager Rick Howard said.
The property's purchase cost is about $1.2 million, with the district's portion being about $850,000.
The growing Delta town of about 16,000 has talked about building a community center for more than 20 years, with this being the farthest plans have advanced.
Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.