City explores new opportunities for Westside Community Center

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The City of Colorado Springs is exploring new operational opportunities for the Westside Community Center via a Request for Information (RFI), which was posted on Monday, Aug. 3. The RFI follows a decade of collaboration with Woodmen Valley Chapel’s Center for Strategic Ministry LLC, which began operating the community center in 2010 due to the economic downturn of 2009-10 when the City faced serious budget shortfalls that threatened a number of services including the operation of its community centers.

Since 2010, the partnership has provided more than 100 programs and services for 70,000+ participants each year. Woodmen Valley Chapel maintains its affection for the neighbors and community on the city’s west side, but is now looking to direct its resources toward supporting and reestablishing other neighborhoods as it has the westside for over a decade.

“The City of Colorado Springs greatly appreciates the past decade of service to the Westside neighborhood and the community as a whole through Woodmen Valley Chapel’s support of the Westside Community Center,” said Karen Palus, Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services director. “Thousands of our citizens have benefitted from the wide range of opportunities provided by our partner organization. Having this kind of positive impact in the community is what our department strives for with each and every facility and program.”

With this goal in mind, the City is interested in exploring the full continuum of options for the Westside Center and committed to ensuring that it emerges as a vibrant and financially viable entity providing substantial and sustained benefits to the Westside neighborhood and residents citywide.

Located at 1628 West Bijou Street, the Westside Community Center was originally the home of the Buena Vista Elementary School. With three buildings, ranging in age from almost 100 years old to 50 years old, the site encompasses an entire city block and includes a new playground and a robust community garden.

The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department continues to operate three community centers: Deerfield Hills, Hillside and Meadows Park. Located in areas impacted by marginalized socioeconomic conditions, each center strives to effectively develop creative solutions to improve the quality of life in the surrounding neighborhoods. Unique partnerships between neighborhood associations, churches, schools, non-profit agencies, private businesses, and military installations allow the centers to create an unparalleled environment for learning, recreation, and personal growth at a single site for youth, families, the elderly, and those with special needs.

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