The Loma Prieta Gym-Community Center was built to meet C.T. English Middle School’s need for a gym and the greater Loma Prieta community’s need for a community center. As the district grew, members of the school and community wanted to add a community center. Fundraising began in the 1980s, sparked by the sale of a portion of school property to Santa Clara County. Many fundraisers and a bond measure secured the money to build a large community center that included a gym and several smaller rooms. The building was paid for when the Loma Prieta Community Center opened with a grand dinner-dance party and ribbon cutting on November 6, 1988.
Loma Prieta Community Foundation was founded in 1983 and members of LPCF played an integral part in the fundraising efforts and the building of the community center.
The facility has been used by the school district for physical education classes, after- school sports, classrooms, meeting rooms, and in recent years, the Home & School Club Snack Shack lunch program. Over the years, the community has used the facility for many activities, including recreation classes, open-gym basketball for adults, special events, and meeting rooms. Theatre In the Mountains, an LPCF program, transforms the gym into a performing arts venue.
Both the Santa Cruz and Silicon Valley Chapters of the American Red Cross designate the facility as a shelter site. The Mountain Emergency Response Corps, an affiliate of the two chapters uses the facility for meetings, trainings, and shelter exercises. Santa Cruz County Office of Emergency Services has designated the center as a remote disaster center and has stationed communications equipment there for use by ham radio volunteers.
The community center has undergone a number of renovations and improvements since being built. In 1990, a full disaster kitchen was installed using funds from the American Red Cross. A few years later, with funds from Santa Clara County, LPCF built the Garden Terrace. In the late 1990’s the LPCF funded renovations that created the Dance Room, a special music room, refurbished the Community Center Room, and installed a 100 KW emergency generator. In the past few years, major renovations done by the school district included a new roof, seismic retrofitting in the gym, refurbishing the main restrooms, and the Community Center Room.
The latest project was the replacement of the gym floor, with funds from the state Office of Public School Construction and Santa Cruz County Parks, completed in 2012.
LPCF maintains a Joint-Use Agreement with the Loma Prieta Joint Union School District to ensure that the community center will continue to be used for the benefit of the community.