At last week’s Community Service Area 36 Advisory Committee meeting, Janice Lyle announces plans for the groundbreaking on May 26.
Photo by JP Crumrine

The Idyllwild Community Center has met a major milestone, one for which the community has waited several years. The official groundbreaking for work on the project will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 26, at the ICC site.

And immediately following this ceremony, the dedication of Idypark will take place in the center of town.

Nearly 16 months after the Riverside County Planning Commission approved plans for the center, the initial site development will begin. Phase 1 will include grading, site preparation, a road from the Ridgeview Drive entrance to the lower area abutting the Idyllwild Brewpub and parking for the future ICC building.

The ceremony was announced at the Community Service Area 36 meeting last week. Janice Lyle, president of the ICC board, proudly and happily told the committee, “I am finally delighted to announce that Phase 1 of the ICC has begun. Since [December 2016], our staff has met and complied with 93 conditions from the county. And we will ensure that Strawberry Creek remains pristine.”

Among the numerous conditions are a contract with a Native American tribe to be cognizant of artifacts with historical value during all of the construction phases and compliance with the county’s oak tree mitigation requirements. The latter resulted in marking and identifying the size of more than 200 oak trees on the site.

As Chris Trout, the community’s representative on the design team, said, “I am thrilled to report that the shovels to be placed in the ground at the groundbreaking ceremony signify that contractor bids have been reviewed and that FB&E [of Anaheim] has been chosen for its significant experience and best price. Let the grading begin.”

Besides donating the acreage for the ICC, Loie and David Butterfield have given $3 million for the completion of Phase 1. This will cover its expected costs.

Phase 2 is the ICC building. Much of the construction cost for this phase will be funded from a Community Development Block Grant, which Riverside County 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington helped the ICC obtain. The board plans more fundraising to complete this phase.

The ICC board and team have invited the entire community to join them for this memorable event.

NOTE: An earlier version of this story had a later start time for the groundbreaking. Town Crier was notified after going to print about the event being rescheduled.