Parks & Recreation

Robertson Recreation Center Improvements

Robertson Recreation Center

The approved project will create a new $11 million neighborhood community center and gymnasium to serve the entire South Robertson community. The current facility is in poor shape; recently, large sections of the gym ceiling collapsed.

The project is largely funded by the voter-approved Proposition K, which was designed to enhance the City's youth-oriented athletic and activity centers. In its list of projects, Prop. K specifically included "constructing a modern gymnasium, community center, childcare center, and perimeter improvements" on the current Robertson Rec Center site. The City further defines a modern gymnasium as including a regulation high-school-sized basketball court. Changes to the voter-approved project definition would likely have meant that the allocated funds would be spent elsewhere in the City.

Download the February 2015 Rec Center presentation (9.6 mb PDF file)
Download the March 2015 Rec Center presentation (6.5 mb PDF file)
Download two new options for configuring the outdoor facilities (1.5 mb PDF file)


SORO NC held a public town hall in 2011 to solicit community feedback for the City. The project was put on hold due to City budget constraints shortly thereafter, but in November 2014, new plans based on those suggestions were presented to the community. Since then, SORO NC and the LVNOC (Local Volunteer Neighborhood Oversight Committee—more on this at right) have, between them, held seven public meetings to solicit additional community input from stakeholders throughout the South Robertson area.

Original plans included a stage and bleacher seating. Those features, however, would have increased the parking requirements to an unfeasible degree. 

The exisiting small multi-purpose building (formerly the Child Care Center) will be preserved and updated. The new gymnasium will be sited further south, opening a large children's area between the two buildings. The new configuration also eliminates the "hidden" areas around the current building, making the park safer and easier to supervise. 

The Neighborhood Council has made it clear that preserving the perimeter Australian Paperbark trees is a priority for the SORO community.

Architectural design notes

From the City's Department of Engineering:

The design seeks to provide a building that will gracefully transition from the commercial thoroughfare of Robertson Boulevard to the quiet, low-rise residential streets of Preuss and Airdrome, and create an oasis of green space and recreational amenities.

The site, an attenuated triangle, is bounded on a long side by busy traffic on Robertson Boulevard and surrounded by a perimeter of mature ‘Paperbark’ (Melaleuca) trees. This presents limited opportunities for the large rectangular volume required for a basketball gymnasium.

The design has taken the trees as inspiration and formed the building around them, using the language of a serpentine masonry wall. Not only is this a design solution, but this will help provide interest and scale for the large volume of the gymnasium, and give structural stability to the tall perimeter walls.

The livelier recreational activities; outdoor basketball courts, exercise equipment, picnic and sitting spaces, are proposed along Robertson Boulevard, facing away from the quiet residential streets. Additionally, the building has been extended along Preuss Road in order to create a sound barrier for the residents along this street.

The site organization was revised due to community concerns about traffic at the intersection of Airdrome Street and Robertson Boulevard. The parking area and driveway entrance have been relocated along Preuss Road.

The Recreation Center building is organized around a regulation basketball court with a 30’ interior clearance. Four north facing trusses span the gym and will be glazed with clerestory windows to provide natural daylight to the court, minimizing the need for artificial lighting during day activities. The Gymnasium will be accompanied by two large community rooms, an office and reception area, and supported by storage and mechanical rooms. For added convenience, a food warming area has been included in the large community room.

The area adjacent to the existing Child Care Center is a protected, family-oriented lay area for kids and parents. The renovated Child Care Center will house youth programs and summer camps for school-age children. It will also be refurbished as a multi-purpose space for community meetings.

The exterior walls shall be clad in a corrugated, vertical metal paneling. This paneling may be perforated and run across glazed areas, admitting light while protecting the glass from vandalism. This will also allow for screening of mechanical units on the roof.

2011 Community Town Hall Meeting: Renewing Robertson Rec Center

7:00pm at Robertson Rec Center

An investment in our community


Update: we'll continue to have public meetings about the Rec Center, so be sure to sign up to be notified via email, Facebook, or Twitter. And if you have thoughts about what you'd like to see in a new Rec Center, email us at parkideas@soronc.org.
Council District 5 is spearheading a project to renew Robertson Recreation Center (at Preuss & Airdrome) to create a newer, better facility which can serve more community needs.

The project would create a vibrant, clean, safe and new community center with enriched activity and learning programs for youth, seniors and other segments of our community, as well as the potential to expand uses to include performing arts, community meetings and more. Located a short walk across from the Robertson Public Library, the Rec Center area would become the heart of community activity for a wide swath of our residents.

SORO NC's Town Hall

On Monday, November 7, we will gather some of the key decision makers together at the Recreation Center to host a Community Town Hall and dialogue. We will hear from Council Member Paul Koretz and see the earliest presentation of schematics and plans from the architects working at the Bureau of Engineers.

Most importantly, we want to hear from all of you. Our own annual survey indicated that many of you would use this facility more often if it had more to offer you, so we are excited about the opportunity to make that happen.

This will be the first in a series of meetings, so there is a long way to go until anything is set in stone, but we welcome your voices to the table and are looking forward to a productive dialogue and the best possible result for all our community.

Town Hall Speakers

Speakers will include:

Neil Drucker, Program Manager, Bureau of Engineering, Recreational and Cultural Facilities Manager

Neil Drucker has managed the Bureau of Engineering's Proposition K - L.A. for Kids Program since 2001. He has managed over 150 Recreation and Parks and Cultural Affairs projects during that time, including managing the $100 Million Griffith Observatory Renovation and Expansion, plus through the LA for Kids Program, has funded and assisted various non-profit agencies on their Proposition K funded projects as well. Mr. Drucker has a professional certificate in Project Management, as well as certificates in Asbestos and Lead Paint Testing and Abatement, Fundamentals of Traffic Noise Assessment, Toxic and Hazardous Materials Management, has lectured on various aspects of the Project Management field at UCLA and USC, and has spoken at various local, state and national level meetings of the Construction Management Association of America. Mr. Drucker and his professional staff are responsible for managing all aspects of the project lifecycle, from pre-design to project closeout.

Jaime Contreras, Project Manager, Bureau of Engineering, Recreational and Cultural Facilities Program


Council Member Paul Koretz

Paul Koretz is the Councilmember for the fifth district of the City of Los Angeles.  Born and raised in Los Angeles, he has had a long career as an environmentalist and animal enthusiast. SoRo has a special place in the Councilmember's heart—he went to school at Canfield, then at Palms Middle School and Hamilton High School, and ended up as a UCLA Bruin.

Where's the money coming from?

In 1996, City of Los Angeles voters passed "Proposition K", to create a citywide assessment district to create $25 million a year in funds for 30 years, specifically for the acquisition, improvement, construction and maintenance of City parks and recreation facilities. The primary purpose of Prop K is to combat the decay of the City's youth infrastructure, resulting in serious unmet needs for parks, recreation, childcare and community facilities.

The project at Robertson is at its very earliest stages, and the process for getting money, time and investment from the City will take some work. But there's real potential for this project to represent a $6-7 million investment in our community, at a time when the City is strapped. For all these reasons, SORO NC is very enthusiastic about this project, and we are committed to keeping the community involved in the process as it moves forward, so that we end up with the best solution for everyone.

2011 Town Hall: Renewing Robertson Rec Center

The Robertson Recreation Center has been a fixture of the community for years, but the building itself is decaying. Fortunately, Proposition K created substantial funding for park projects. Councilmember Koretz and his staff are working to use some of those funds to revamp our Rec Center. It's still very early in the process.

Since the project affects so many in our community, SORO NC will hold a Town Hall so that you can hear directly from City planners and engineers, ask questions, raise concerns, and voice support.

SORO NC Town Hall

Monday, November 7 • 7:00pm
Robertson Rec Center at Preuss & Airdrome (map)

The event will be the first chance to the community to learn about the proposed scope of the project and see early concept sketches (SORO NC will continue to hold smaller public meetings throughout the process to keep everyone in the loop).

You can read more about it at our Town Hall page. Hope to see you there!

Update: we'll continue to have public meetings about the Rec Center, so be sure to sign up to be notified via email, Facebook, or Twitter. And if you have thoughts about what you'd like to see in a new Rec Center, email us at parkideas@soronc.org.

6th Annual SORO Peace Picnic

2011 Peace Picnic

Celebrate the United Nations "International Day of Peace"

A FREE neighborhood celebration for the whole family at the Robertson Rec Center, 1641 Preuss (Robertson at Airdrome), co-sponsored by South Robertson Neighborhoods Council.

Sunday, September 18th
1:00pm - 4:00pm


  • Gourmet lunch donated by local restaurants
  • Live music by neighborhood musicians
  • Make-and-take crafts for kids
  • Fun activities and snacks

Bring a blanket to sit on. For more information, go to peacepicnic.org, or call 310-431-7152.

Movie in the Park: Alpha and Omega

On Friday, July 1, Councilmember Wesson, his  staff, and SORO NC brings the family-friendly animated film Alpha and Omega to our own Reynier Park (2803 Reynier Ave.). Bring your family and friends for a beautiful night of movie-watching under the stars. 

Best part: it's free. All of it. Including the movie, hot dogs, candy, and popcorn. (We do recommend bringing a blanket for the ground.) Festivities begin at 7pm and we'll start the movie as soon as it's dark enough.