About 75 city officials and residents involved in the planning of Center 2000 gathered Friday to celebrate the start of construction for the $22-million community center and sports park.
Construction begins Monday for the 18-acre park, which will include a prehistoric-themed playground, two regulation soccer fields, a Little League and adult softball field, roller hockey rink and dual-skill-level skateboard area.
Next spring, construction begins on the 40,000-square-foot community center complex, which will include a multipurpose room with stage, gymnasium, park and recreation offices and a learning center that will provide Internet access and serve as a library book pickup and drop-off point.
In keeping with the prehistoric theme, city planners chose the ginkgo tree to be the signature landscaping feature. Known as "the living fossil," the ginkgo is one of the oldest tree species in the world. In the fall, the tree's leaves suddenly turn yellow and drop just as quickly, leaving a spectacular golden carpet of leaves on the ground.
Located next to Laguna Hills High School, the center is scheduled to be completed by spring 2000, just in time for the city's annual Fourth of July celebration.