Dougherty Community Center prepares for remodeling

Arts center anticipates a makeover that will provide new opportunities for community


Christine Wang

The Dougherty Station Community Center has planned new activities and events for the building once it reopens in 2023.

The Dougherty Station Community Center has stood since 2005 as a place for group activities and community events, but recently the space has been going underutilized.
Because of this, the center, located at 17011 Bollinger Canyon Road next to the library, has recently been approved for several renovations to make the building a place to foster greater creativity and entertainment.
For the past few years, there have been thoughts to renovate the center as it had been mostly unchanged since its first construction. While going through plans to perform routine maintenance on the building, decisions were made to shift the focus of the building toward a center for creativity.
“We did a community survey in April of 2021, to find out from students and teachers what it is that they want for our arts programs,” said San Ramon recreation supervisor Adam Chow, who did not provide the cost of the renovations.
Based on this feedback, multiple renovations were set to be implemented for the building.
The dance studio, which hadn’t been modified since the original construction, is now being expanded to allow for more lessons. There are also going to be art studios so that artists will be able to have a workspace outside their homes.
On top of those additions, there will be two soundproof rooms to serve as sound studios for music practice, private lessons, or any audio recording needs. Finally, there will be a green room added to the building as a backstage space for the theater.
There isn’t yet a concrete plan on how these spaces will be booked or used, but there are a variety of ideas that are being considered. Currently, there are a variety of classes that are offered at the community center, and this will continue after the renovations are finished.
The classes will be fee-based like they always have been. Members of the public will be able to pay a certain price and attend classes that use the new facilities. The specialized rooms and studios will be available for rental for members of the public to reserve.
“There will definitely be some lower cost or free options for community members to be able to attend specific programs,” Chow said.
The building’s focus is on providing opportunities to those who may have been unable or unwilling to explore their creative side, he said.
“There are opportunities for people who may not call themselves artists or may want to start exploring new mediums or new genres,” Chow said.
In addition to the spaces that will be utilized for private use or lessons, there are plans for hosting some community building events, such as open mic nights or art galleries, that are designed to showcase local talent and building bonds between members of the community.
Currently, the project is waiting for contractors to begin work on the facility, but all the plans and drawings for the renovations have been completed. After that starts, the facility is looking to reopen during the end of spring or early summer of 2023. The cost of these renovations is unknown.
The renovation project has been proceeding very smoothly so far, mostly due to the large amount of community support, Chow said. Many of the ideas for the center were contributed to and workshopped by the community, which made the process of getting the plan approved a breeze.
San Ramon’s public facilities have been undergoing a series of recent renovations.
The community center was supposed to be just another of these simple touch up projects, but because of the passion from the community and people behind this plan, the building is slated to become a place inspiring wonder and creativity in the people of San Ramon.