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Our Opinion: Gym dandy

August 10, 2001

Recreationally, things are looking up for Calexico. In a few seemingly short years, not only will the city have a completed Nosotros Park with a skateboarding facility but a new $3 million gymnasium on the campus of De Anza Junior High, which will be available to students and the public.

Thanks to more than $1.7 million from the state and the commitment of both the Calexico Unified School District and the city's Redevelopment Agency to fund the remaining cost, Calexicans will have a gym of which everyone in the community can be proud.

While it's a common occurrence throughout the Imperial Valley, it's always encouraging to see cities and school districts band together to make something happen for the good of the community. And believe us when we say this gym is good for the community of Calexico.

El Centro has the Conrad Harrison Youth Center. Brawley has the Lions Center gym. Calexico has … well, it will have something once the new gym is complete, and that's what's great about this effort to get the new gym built.


We're not trying to come off like Calexico has nothing now. There are school- and city-funded basketball courts, baseball and softball diamonds and soccer fields throughout town. But there's always something special about an indoor facility that is available to the community and not just schools.

We imagine the recent State Allocation Board award has even greater meaning to the Calexico City Council, which seated as the Redevelopment Agency, will provide up to $750,000 in funding for the gym.

In recent months, using RDA moneys for community projects has been a big priority to the RDA, as it should be. Talk has even started up — again — about a sports complex, which would likely need some kind of financial commitment from the RDA.

We recently recommended the City Council focus more on economic development than on what appears to be its current bent on quality-of-life spending. While spending on quality-of-life projects is not necessarily a bad thing, we think the City Council has a responsibility to its residents to make sure the city is in the best possible shape as far as attracting industry and commercial business. After all, an economically prosperous community can more thoroughly fund recreation endeavors.

It's for this reason we are excited about the State Allocation Board's award. It allows the RDA to commit its $750,000 — a definite quality-of-life expenditure — and move on to other, probably more appropriate uses of RDA funds, such as sparking economic growth.

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