Input needed to shape new Valley Community Center


Photo by Gigi Zawislak

An intrigued mother studies a card she received in the mail asking for her opinion on the new valley community center.

Gigi Zawislak, Broadcast Editor

The lifeguard blows his whistle at the children who splash in the cool pool. Mom is having a cup of coffee in the room next door giggling with her book club over a chapter they had just read. Not too far down the hallway, a group of ambitious young men head to the workout area passing the arts and crafts room where their little siblings gather for daycare. Teenagers, adults, and seniors fill the main entrance awaiting their turn to check in and start their own adventure in the multi-use building. The Valley Community Center promises a place where youth, adults, and families can gather and socialize in multiple different ways. 

“I believe that this should be a place for everybody from birth to grave. That Seniors, adults, and teenagers need a place to be a community and get involved with each other,” Diane Polasik, president of the Valley Community Center board said. 

Since she was 25 years old, Poloasik has been providing help to the community. She has served as both a school nurse and a swimming instructor. All the way back in 1977  Polasik has been fighting for a community center with the City Counsel. 

“They said they weren’t interested but I still brought it up at least three other times. Years later they finally saw me and what I was bringing to the table,” Polasik explained. Being passionate about helping the public has given her the drive to bring a new community center to life. 

However, none of this is possible without the community’s input.

I believe that this should be a place for everybody from birth to grave. That Seniors, adults, and teenagers need a place to be a community and get involved with each other.

— Diane Polasik

“To have a place that, not only fuels your athletic drive but also encourages socializing in different atmospheres is essential.”said Dario Mejia, co-founder and instructor at Curio dance.

Everyone is up for a new center, but not everyone can agree on what they want out of it. Poasik and her team have created a survey asking what services the community wants most. The top three main activities and spaces people want are an indoor pool, a multi-purpose gym, and youth programs. On the other side, the three top things the community doesn’t want are a daycare, a climbing wall, and rentable party spaces. 

However, not all of the community is giving their opinions. 

“More than half of our correspondents of the survey are from seniors and parents,” Polasik explained, “there’s a lot of want for youth programs and teen hangout spaces, but it’s not the actual teenagers asking for it, it’s their parents!” 

Desperate for actual youth feedback, Polasik has been posting the survey in more public areas to spread the need.

“I think it would be great to have a new hangout space,” junior An Li Allison said, “It gets old meeting your friends in the same space you have since middle school. So, yes me and my friends would love a community center that had a space for us.” 

Allison also works out on her own and expressed a desire for fitness programs.

“Now that I know all of the possibilities I’m really excited. I could go to the gym, pool, get coffee then meet with my friends all in the same building on the same day. How crazy is that?” Allison said.

The Valley Community Center does not have a set start or end date as well as how much it will cost. Polasik’s goal right now is to get community input and then proceed with the logistics of construction from there.

“I need all the input we can get in order to make sure everyone gets what they want, especially teenagers. I’m inviting all the youth to share their opinions on what to incorporate into the center. I know teenagers try so hard to be heard and get shut down by grown-ups. However, I will gladly listen to all of your feedback!” Polasik said.