NORWALK — When the nine-hole municipal golf course at 13717 Shoemaker Ave. opens next spring after a $13 million upgrade, it will be known as the Don Knabe Golf Center and Junior Academy.
The City Council Nov. 15 unanimously voted to name the facility after the Fourth District county supervisor who is retiring in December after 20 years of service.
Completion and opening are estimated in March, officials said.
In a report to the council, Administrative Services Manager Adriana Figueroa said that in 2015 Knabe was instrumental in negotiations with Los Angeles County leading to the county agreement to lease and operate the facility and conduct improvements.
That action will save Norwalk from $200,000 to $250,000 a year in operating costs, City Manager Mike Egan said.
The upgrade includes renovation of the course, construction of a two-story driving range, a community building and a program offering golf lessons and recreation opportunities to area youth, Figueroa said.
Knabe provided initial funding in 2001 to create the Los Angeles County Junior Golf Program, which teaches youngsters the art of golf and essential life skills such as discipline, character, integrity and honor, Figueroa said.
Norwalk youth will be able to learn and practice the game of golf while being taught problem solving skills, visioning, patience and maturity, she added.
“He believes golf provides children with learning opportunities and countless life lessons as they develop into adulthood,” Figueroa said.
“Supervisor Knabe has made children and families a priority during his term in public office and has contributed to community programs at the Norwalk Cultural Arts Center, purchase of playground equipment, internships and music programs,” Figueroa said.
Prior to serving as supervisor, Knabe served as an aide to Supervisor Deane Dana and before that was mayor of Cerritos, where he and wife still reside.