- You can read more about the closure of the YMCA in the December 9th Thousand Oaks Acorn article.
- You can read more about the Teen Center renovation in this November 11 Acorn article.
- Two huge classrooms. There are two large bathrooms (locker rooms actually, but closed off from the main building) outside the bungalows;
- An office space which serves as our main “hub”. It holds another classroom, two small study rooms, a foyer, bathroom and a utility area;
- An activity room with hardwood floors and an incredible view! It has a full kitchen, two bathrooms, and ample area for seating and activities;
- A variety of open and covered outdoor classroom spaces, including an outdoor amphitheater with views of the Santa Rosa Valley, two Gaga pits, a basketball court, and a play structure, all on 35 acres of open space that include hiking trails (!!).
Is it Safe?
YES! We would not move there if it wasn’t, and the YMCA would not allow it. We do not have access to the main building, due to it being unsafe and having two empty pools. But we have access to everything else. However, the buildings definitely needed some TLC! They have not been used (except for youth programming last summer) since March 2020, and before that, they were, shall we say, very well-used. In order to prepare the space, the YMCA and OSA made many necessary upgrades, including: carpeting in the two bungalows and new paints throughout; new screens for windows and the replacement of old flourescent bulbs with LED; electrical upgrades, a new dishwasher, and a new water heater in the Activity Room; an industrial handrail for the wooden stairs leading to the Activity Room; and a host of other upgrades and cleaning details, from new dispensers in the restrooms to campus clean up.
Is it Long Term?
We have a month-to-month lease on the space. At this time, we only know for sure that we will be there until the end of the school year. During that time, we will ENJOY it, CARE for it, and “sprinkle fairy dust” on it. We are only making the amendments needed to use it for the duration of the year, so no big construction projects, such as building a garden. We have a beautiful garden at the Las Flores Community Garden that we’ve invested in, and will continue to use off site. It is about 2 miles away.
As we get closer to the end of the school year, both the YMCA and OSA will re-evaluate the use of the space. Perhaps we will stay longer. Perhaps we will head back to the Teen Center or another location. All that remains to be seen, and that is OKAY. In the meantime, we are enjoying yet another huge OSA Adventure. We are good at this! We are flexible, innovative, creative, and resilient.