Rancho Santa Fe Community Center: ‘We’re back!’
After being closed for over a year due to the pandemic, the Rancho Santa Fe Community Center is getting ready to reopen its doors on April 12. Registration began this week for a spring session of classes and sports and Executive Director Kimberly Owen is hopeful that people will be happy to have their children involved in after-school activities at the center again.
For over 45 years the center has been considered the heart of the Rancho Santa Fe community: “I hope it gets back to beating”, Owen said.
Owen took over as the executive director in July following the retirement of Linda Durket, who had been the director of the center since 2010. While new to her role Owen is not new to the community center, she has been on staff since 2016 starting as an office manager. She spent Durket’s last year working alongside her as the associate director, preparing to take the lead.
For a “place of activity” to be unable to host any activities or build membership has been tough to say the least.
“I took over during a tumultuous period,” Owen said. “We’ve definitely been impacted financially by the pandemic. Essentially we’ve been closed for over a year with no staff other than myself.”
Owen had been working part time but will move to full time when programs kick up again. Since March 2020, the only activity in the center has been youth basketball with other clubs renting the space and bringing in some revenue.
The center was able to host its annual golf tournament, rebranded as the “Save the Center Golf Classic”, in November as it was an outdoor event—Owen said they had 74 players participate and it raised a significant amount of money for the center.
The spring gala, the center’s other big fundraiser, was canceled last year and is still to be determined for this year.
In preparing to reopen, Owen said the health and safety of children, families, staff and the community is a top priority. They will be doing daily temperature checks, social distancing and keeping small groups of participants and staff together each class.
For April through May, they have scheduled programming for ages 4-12 in sports like basketball, soccer and volleyball as well as classes in dance, yoga, art and music.
“It’s exciting,” Owen said of the return to activity. “The numbers are small with how many children we can have but we feel it’s time to do something.”
They are also planning now for potential summer camps in drama, coding, music and sports.
For more information visit rsfcc.org or call (858) 756-2461.
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