A Grand Plan, A Grand Dame, A Grand Community

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 by Al Radick

Quite possibly many folks in our community do not realize the full extent of the aging Grand Dame of Mira Mesa, our very own Mira Mesa Community Park.

It occupies approximately 17 acres right in the heart of “downtown” Mira Mesa and at the present time it is in the process of adding another 11 acres or so which will give it a grand total of about 28 acres.

dec16mmn2When the addition is completed the campus will be home to the Gil Johnson Recreation Center, Verne Goodwin Senior Center, Outdoor Basketball Courts, Gazebo, Two Children’s Playgrounds, Restroom/Concession Stand Building, Shaded Central Plaza, Mira Mesa Volunteer of the Year monument, Veterans Memorial, many Multi Sport Playing Fields and plenty of room to run and play, all on one campus!

Appended to the campus is the San Diego Fire Department Station 38, the Mira Mesa Public Library and the Epicentre, which currently only houses the Community Office of the SDPD and the RSVP.

Now that’s what I’d call one hell’uva complex and it’s directly across the street from the award winning Mira Mesa High School. They’re literally so good that they blew their own horn……..in the 2016 Rose Bowl Parade!

Next up for the Old Lady is the addition of some new facilities and the renovation/replacement of some existing facilities. Decisions, decisions…..

High on the list of new facilities is a new larger Recreation Center and an Aquatic Complex. These are needed because Gil’s old Center is waaaay to small and Ned’s Complex is really overloaded. Also under consideration is a Wheels Friendly Plaza for all the folks who prefer some form of wheels to walking or running. How about two seniors doing the electric scooter shuffle on their way home from a shopping trip? YouTube is waiting with baited breath.dec16mmnpark3

While we’re at it, we’ll tear down the Basketball Courts, Gazebo and the original Children’s Playground, replace them with brand new state-of-the-art facilities and incorporate plenty of shaded areas for protection from the suns damaging rays.

And, Oh yeah, we could also repurpose and renovate Gil’s old Recreation Center……perhaps primarily as a Community Theatre and Performance Center or maybe just demo it?

In addition to theatrical performances it would create an ideal environment for such things as community meetings, lectures and the dance classes that San Diego Park & Rec presently offers the community. When completed, we could have the Gil Johnson Community Center.

Photo courtesy of Al Radick
Photo courtesy of Al Radick

This is a great opportunity for the Community of Mira Mesa and the City of San Diego to truly turn our Mira Mesa Community Park into one of the Crown Jewels of the Northern portion of the City of San Diego.

Alas, all of this will require many millions of dollars and perhaps as much as 7-10 years to complete. But hopefully, one of the new facilities will come on line every year or so, once the big ball starts rolling.

While all this is going on, in parallel, the folks with our Mira Mesa Community Foundation are putting together a plan to present to the city to take over the operation of the now vacant Epicentre and operate it as a teen and a community center.

Again in parallel, another group of Mira Masons is pursuing having a bridge built over Mira Mesa Blvd. to safely connect MMHS and their parking lot to our park. It was suggested by some old guy that they should hire some of the dudes who dig tunnels under the border rather than build a bridge, might save a lot of money…. I kid, of course.

And then, of course, there’s a myriad of possibilities of what facilities might/might not be built in the park, it just goes on and on and on……..stay tuned, there will be public meetings on this thorny subject next year, probably more than one, so keep smiling Mira Mesa, good things are happening!

Just be sure to remember that “politics” and “bureaucracy” are NOT synonymous with “speed” and “expedite”!!

For more information on our local parks or to attend monthly meetings visit:

www.miramesarecreationcouncil.org