New Hacienda Heights Community Center blends beauty, utility

New Hacienda Heights Community Center blends beauty with utility.

New Hacienda Heights Community Center blends beauty with utility.

By Richard Irwin, Staff Writer

The new Hacienda Heights Community Center is an amazing place. And its beauty isn’t just skin deep. The $21 million edifice has been designed to serve multiple uses.

“That’s what I like best about the new community center, it can do so many things for so many different groups,” agreed Joe Mendoza, Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation deputy director.

The center sits on Turnbull Canyon Road. Hacienda La Puente Unified provided seven acres at the old Hillgrove Elementary School.

“The district is excited about the ongoing partnership we have with the county,” said School Superintendent Cindy Parulan-Colfer.

She said the new community center will showcase many school events and performances, including the district’s big open house on Nov. 1.

Next week, the spotlight will shine on what Mendoza calls “the granddaddy” of community centers. The 21,000 square-foot-center has its grand opening 11 a.m. Oct. 25.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe has been a longtime supporter of the project.

“This is one of the rare times that the actual building is even more impressive than the architect’s renderings,” Knabe said. “I love the flexibility in the design. At the community input meetings, everyone wanted the center to be as flexible as possible, and I’ve think we’ve done that with the new center.”

Visitors will discover a visually stunning structure rising from lush landscaping. The three-story high auditorium pulls the eye up to the cantilevered roof front.

Theater patrons will be impressed with the 6,400 square foot auditorium. Center Director Susan Brown demonstrated how the plush stadium seating automatically retracts into the back wall.

“This allows us to use the space for banquets and conferences,” Mendoza pointed out. “We can even divide the auditorium into three separate rooms with folding partitions.”

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story CENTER.