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New 15,000 sq.ft eco-friendly facility to serve thousands in Los Angeles

New LEED-certified Lafayette Park Recreational Center
New LEED-certified Lafayette Park Recreational Center
Kanner Architects

Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks with The Everychild Foundation announced yesterday the opening of the $9.8 million Lafayette Park Recreation Center.

The 15,000 square foot eco-friendly facility, designed by the award-winning firm Kanner Architects, features brand new multipurpose classroom spaces, a technology lab and a state-of-the-art gymnasium.

The historic public-private partnership between HOLA and the Recreation and Parks Department has reached its climax with the completion of the Department’s first LEED-certified project. Since the partnership’s formation, the shared vision for Lafayette Park has been to transform the property into a versatile campus that provides exceptional academic, arts, recreation and athletic programs to the surrounding underserved community. This shared mission will soon be realized with the Lafayette Park Recreation Center’s grand opening event on Thursday, February 24.

“We’ve brought together some of the best in class partners and individuals to help solve larger societal problems and we expect the result to surpass any individual effort out there,” said Tony Brown, Executive Director, HOLA. “ This is a tangible roadmap for rebuilding a stronger community able to solve present day and future challenges.”

In 2007, the innovative partnership achieved the desired funds necessary to execute this ambitious project by combining Prop K, Prop 12 and Quimby funds with a private one million dollar gift from The Everychild Foundation.

The newly rebuilt and expanded center will allow HOLA and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to significantly increase the number of neighborhood youth served in 2011 by over 60%. Together they will reach 2,300 youth annually, nearly 1,000 more than can be served today.

“HOLA’s long success in keeping children out of gangs, in school and engaged in positive activities convinced us that they would make excellent use of our grant dollars with the Lafayette Park project,” said Jacqueline Caster, Founder and President of The Everychild Foundation.

In addition to keeping children off the streets, HOLA has started a new partnership with the LA Philharmonic (LA Phil) for the Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) or “YOLA at HOLA” project. YOLA at HOLA provides participating students with intensive after-school orchestral instruction and academic tutoring. YOLA is inspired by El Sistema, the Venezuelan music education system that nurtured LA Phil Music Director Gustavo Dudamel.

For more information on the Lafayette Park Recreation Center or the YOLA at HOLA project, send an email to


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