Dear Gonzales Community: For years the community has wanted a facility that would allow for family and greater community celebrations, cultural and musical events. And now, after years of research and planning, a major new community complex that will offer a comprehensive set of services and opportunities to Gonzales-area residents, particularly its youth, is moving closer to reality, with plans to break ground on phase 1 of the project in May 2024.
The Dennis and Janice Caprara Community Center will include a community hall with a supporting commercial kitchen, a teen innovation center, County library branch, a fitness room, restrooms, staff offices, meeting rooms and an outdoor amphitheater. The community hall and courtyard amphitheater will provide year-round opportunities for local and regional residents to celebrate heritage, art and bring together multi-generations to share cultural traditions to benefit the health and quality of life for residents across all ages.
The center will be constructed on a city-owned parcel at Fifth Street and Gabilan Court, and the entire project will be approximately 13,000 square feet.
To allow the city to build the project as funds become available, the city has outlined a phased approach to building the Community Center Complex. Phase 1 includes the library, Teen Innovation Center, restrooms, office, courtyard, lounge area, amphitheater and parking lot improvements, and phase 2 includes the community hall, meeting rooms, commercial kitchen, fitness center and remaining additional parking.
The estimated budget for the entire project is $34.8 million. The city currently has the funds to build phase 1, which is estimated to cost $21 million.
In addition to city funds, we have been actively engaged in a capital campaign since 2022. We partnered with the Community Foundation for Monterey County to set up a fund specifically for the capital campaign. This will keep donations separate from city funds and ensure every dollar raised goes directly to this project.
Our goal for the capital campaign is $10 million. Thanks to several Salinas Valley ag leaders and many community members who have generously contributed to the campaign, I am thrilled to announce so far, we have raised over $6.6 million.
While we have made great progress toward securing the funds to build phase 1, we still have work to do to raise the money for phase 2. I would like to invite you to be part of this historic project for our city by joining those who have already donated to the capital campaign and give during our year-end fundraising campaign.
The Community Center is being built for all residents to enjoy. This facility will provide the ability to expand programs focused on the areas of health, education, childcare, senior services, recreation and social services. For more information about the community center complex and to contribute to the capital campaign, visit cfmco.org/GonzalesCommunityCenter.
On behalf of the Gonzales City Council, we hope you will consider donating today. Every dollar counts!