The city of Napa’s Parks and Recreation department will move into its new headquarters next week, but the heaviest lifting — literally — was in evidence on Thursday.
From two cargo trucks parked at 1850 Soscol Ave. emerged a succession of moving men carrying desks and chairs, and pushing carts stacked with file boxes, all headed to the second-floor office that will house the Parks and Recreation Services Department starting 8 a.m. Monday.
Back at the 1910-vintage West Street building the agency is leaving behind, steel cabinets occupied the foyer and a whiteboard still recorded “9/11 MEMORIAL,” “BOAT DOCK” and other city projects. But by late morning its only occupant was the director, John Coates, who pronounced the move to be on schedule.
“I counted 40 boxes there,” he said, pointing to the former office of parks and facilities manager Dave Perazzo. “I’m lucky to be the new guy here — only had to pack four boxes,” quipped Coates, who took over the department last month.
Thursday marked the busiest part of the Parks and Recreation department’s week-long shift across town, although some new furniture arrived at the Soscol Avenue building Wednesday, according to city staff. The move was made necessary by Napa’s upcoming Napa River flood bypass project, which will cut into the West Street site’s available parking space.
Parks and Recreation staff have taken up temporary quarters this week at the Senior Center at 1500 Jefferson St., where visitors can register for programs and reserve city facilities. Calls to the agency’s main number, 707-257-9529, are being routed to the Senior Center, according to Cindy Bannister, city management analyst.
Packing in advance of the move began Saturday to provide enough time to sort through reams of files from well before Napa computerized its operations, said Bannister.
“There’s over 30 years of stuff there” at the West Street office, she said. “Going through all that and deciding what needs to be archived, what should be disposed of, what needs to be taken to the new place — there were a lot of records from a period before electronic records, and they had to do all that while still providing services.”
Future uses for the converted home at 1100 West St., which served as a teen center in the late ’70s before becoming parks and rec offices, are likely to go before the City Council on April 15, according to Coates.
A divided council last month failed to pass a proposal to have bypass construction crews occupy the building during the flood control project. Other recommendations have included leasing the site to the local Alano club or another nonprofit, or selling the building to vintners Bob and Karen Mueller, who seek to move it to Big Ranch Road north of the city and restore it.