Color them confused: City of Bell leaders question neon green in park proposal

Final project design submission tabled to redo color scheme

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The design for the Deb Parks Fitness Gym Rehabilitation project surprised some city leaders. Photo courtesy of the city of Bell.

Sam Garcia, Community News Reporter

Before Bell city council members could approve the final design for the Ernest Debs Park Outdoor Fitness Gym Rehabilitation project, they had to address the elephant in the room — a green one, that is.

The Ernest Debs Park rehabilitation project calls for new outdoor gym equipment, benches, and an expansion of the park’s current fitness area. The final design’s color scheme includes what was described as a “Monster Energy drink” green, which some council members questioned.

Council member Ana Maria Quintana voiced her displeasure with it, saying that she was not a fan of the “spring green” color palette, or the longevity of the equipment.

“As we all know, it takes a long time and it’s not easy to get funding,” said Quintana. “So my hesitation with this — again, besides the fact that I’m not too thrilled with the color — is that it’s very dated. I’m just nervous that it’s not going to be something that lasts.”

The rehabilitation project had already passed through two community meetings, so the Feb. 24 council meeting was meant to be a final step to get the project underway.

Community Services Director Allan Perdomo  pointed out that the green color is consistent throughout the park, and that any other color scheme wouldn’t match, especially with the green awning that’s already in place. 

Replacing the awning would nearly double the rehabilitation budget, costing about $15,000 to $20,000, he said. And in terms of the quality and longevity of the equipment, Perdomo stated the design is “very modern” and is of good quality.

“This is, in my opinion, the best there is in the industry,” he said of the new equipment.

He added that the project received nearly $22,000 in funding through the Regional Parks and Open Space District from L.A. County.

During the Jan. 26 and Jan. 28 community meetings, attendees were asked to pick out their preferred designs for the project. According to diagrams provided by Perdomo, 91% and 75% of attendees in each meeting, respectively, voted in favor of the first design, which included a fitness area and a structure called the Thrive Fitness Apparatus, which is made up of different workout equipment. The second design did not.

Perdomo noted neither of the two designs pitched at the January meetings were in the “Monster Energy Drink” shade of the final rendition. But that is the version he showed the city’s community services council at a Feb. 17 meeting, and it approved of that design and color scheme. 

Mayor Ali Saleh reiterated Perdomo’s suggestion of coming up with a few new color schemes and voting on the best one at the next meeting. Council Member Fidencio Joel Gallardo suggested letting members of the community decide on the final color scheme. 

Perdomo said there are also plans for repainting the basketball courts at Debs Park and he can share preliminary ideas for that by the next council meeting.

Quintana said it would be nice to color-code both the fitness gym and the basketball court and asked if Perdomo’s team could whip up some new color schemes — ones that are not of the neon variety.

Community News produces stories about under-covered neighborhoods and small cities on the Eastside and South Los Angeles. Please email feedback, corrections and story tips to [email protected]