In late 2011, the Del Mar Foundation approached the City of Del Mar with a proposal to use the building at 225 9th Street, former site of the administrative offices of the Del Mar Union School District, as a community building, with offices for the Foundation and Del Mar Community Connections, as well as meeting space that would be available to Del Mar organizations and groups. On May 1, 2012, the Del Mar Foundation and the City inked an Interim Use Agreement approving this use for an initial period of two years, while the long-term use of the property is being determined by a master plan process for the entire Shores property.
The Del Mar Foundation and DMCC committed funds for remodeling, including an ADA-compliant restroom. Throughout the summer, a talented team of volunteers and workers worked diligently to transform the building inside and out. More than 35 volunteers, led by project coordinator Betty Wheeler and Renovator-in-Chief Larry Brooks, whose building and remodeling skills were key to a comprehensive and affordable spruce-up of the building, demolished, rebuilt, repaired, scrubbed, painted, raked, de-weeded, planted, and more. Workers painted the building’s exterior and created an ADA-compliant restroom, all within our frugal budget.
Mary Friestedt of the Del Mar Garden Club led a team of gardeners to create a beautiful focal garden featuring Agave attenuata specimens donated by community gardeners, and rocks supplied by Public Works. Bob Zizka created a bamboo railing on the other side of the walkway, beautifully accented by more Agave plants.
Pat JaCoby, DMCC Board Member and DMF Cultural Arts Committee member, led a crew of 15 volunteer painters to paint the interior during an August 16 work party.
The windows now sparkle, old linoleum gleams like new, sunlight streams into the building through the terrific tall windows, filtered through trees beautifully laced by Andy McCracken, and the interior is graced by lovely furnishings and artwork donated by DMCC board member Julie Iantorno.
Betty Wheeler, the DMF board member who spearheaded the negotiations for the building and coordinated its remodel, said, “The Community Building is a reality because of the volunteer efforts of many community residents, plus tremendous support from the City of Del Mar.” Assistant City Manager Mark Delin and the Public Works staff provided crucial support, as did volunteers from the Foundation, DMCC, and the Del Mar Garden Club.
The Del Mar Community Building became a reality on August 28, 2012, with a grand opening and open house attended by 200+ members of the Del Mar community.