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Jewish Journal

A New Center

by Steve Getzug

December 9, 1999 | 7:00 pm

After nearly a decade of planning, fund- raising and hard work, the Ferne Milken Youth & Sports Complex opens its doors Sunday, and organizers say the $4.5 million facility is certain to help the center achieve its goal of becoming a true hub for community life in the Valley.

"We want this campus to be the central address for this part of the community, but with a regional focus," said H. Jack Mayer, executive director of The Jewish Federation/Valley Alliance. Open to the entire public, "this is a place where everyone can come and feel welcome."

Olympian Mark Spitz, former Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda, NFL Hall of Famer Ron Mix, basketball coach John Wooden and the Dodgers' newest addition, Shawn Green, are among invited guests and speakers for the 2 p.m. dedication at the center.

In addition to speeches and tributes, organizers say the scheduled three-hour celebration will include sports demonstrations and clinics, a slam dance performance, a trivia contest, a karaoke contest and more.

While the 12-year-old Milken campus is already well known in the west valley for its social, educational and cultural programming, the Youth & Sports Complex to the immediate south of the existing facility jazzes up current recreational services and adds some modern new features that should prove a magnet for area youth and families.

Among the amenities:

*The 12,000 square-foot Gerry and George Gregory and Family Gymnasium includes one tournament-sized basketball court overlaying two regular size courts. Telescopic bleachers provides seating for up to 500 spectators, and electronic scoreboards keep fans up to date.

*A 3,000 square-foot multi-purpose fitness center for aerobics and gymnastics. Called Rita's Room, the space can also be used for social gatherings and other events.

*The Farber Teen Center. The 2,000-square foot space is intended as a lounge, game room and meeting area.

*A national Jewish Sports Hall of Fame exhibit that will include memorabilia and more.

In addition to the wood-floor gym and fitness rooms, the expanded space will house a snack bar and sports shop. A new lobby rounds out the entire addition, which was designed by WLC Architects of Rancho Cucamonga.

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