Hamilton Theater 507 S Palm Dr, Novato, CA94949 The landmark theater at the former Hamilton Field Air Force Base was built in 1934 but has been closed since 1994. It is…More owned by the city of Novato, but there are no plans for renovation. It is one of several former air base buildings on the list of locally significant buildings with the National Register of Historic Places. Despite its architectural value, it has been used for fire district personnel training.
Hamilton Cleaners 6 Hamilton Lndg, Novato, CA94949 Hamilton Cleaners is located in one of the newly renovated Hamilton Air Force Base hangers. They offer dry cleaning,…More laundering and alteration services. Dry cleaning dropped off in the morning will be available the next afternoon.
YMCA 3 Hamilton Lndg, Novato, CA94949 YMCA of Novato is a relatively new facility built in one of the old Hamilton Air Force Base hangers. This 11,000 square…More foot facility offers a wide variety of health services including child care, gym facilities personal training and group classes including yoga, Pilates, cycling and zumba.
Gnoss Field on Novato's northern outskirts is home to Squadron 23 of the Civil Air Patrol, formed in 2003 after…More Hamilton Air Force Base closed. Lt. Col. Ray Peterson of Petaluma and Lt. Col. Laurence Steffan of Novato were instrumental in creating the squadron. Squadron 23 is part of Group 5 of the national Civil Air Patrol and has 44 members -- 25 adults and 19 cadets (ages 12 - 18) -- from Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties.
The Civil Air Patrol traces its roots to the ominous months before the United States was drawn into World War II by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and others believed a stable of civilian pilots could help monitor the homeland skies and free up military forces for more urgent tasks. Shortly after LaGuardia created the patrol, the pilots started patrolling coastal areas, helping ships in distress and even bombing German submarines.
Today, volunteers -- from teens to senior citizens -- prepare for emergency situations; contribute to homeland security; and promote aerospace education. The patrol's cadet program is the introduction to air service education for many teens, and guides them toward acheiving a pilot's license and, on occasion, toward entry into a service academy. At Gnoss Field, the cadets meet at 7 p.m. every Monday to learn leadership, discipline and science skills.
Squadron 23 has possession of a Cessna 206 N50MB, a single-engine plane. The group operates out of a double-wide trailer at the south end of Gnoss Field. Messages left on its answering machine are checked on average once a week.
Recruiters from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps share an office at the Nave Center shopping area at Center…More Road and South Novato Boulevard. Recruiting has picked up in Marin County as young people seek ways to attend expensive colleges and serve their country with pride, one recruiter at the office said.
It's best to make an appointment by phone with any branch of the services; many times the recruiters are working out of offices in nearby cities or are out in the field. The office hours in Novato can be irregular and often the front door is locked. However, business cards are available outside the office and potential recruits can make an appointment to meet a recruiter at that office.
Beso Bistro and Wine Bar 502 Palm Dr, Novato, CA94949 The site of the old Hamilton Cafe, which closed in April 2011, was reopened as Beso Bistro and Wine Bar in December…More 2012. Leo Correa and his wife, Erika, made some significant upgrades to the city-owned historic building, which was part of the original Hamilton Army Air Field (which later became Hamilton Air Force Base). The Correas also own Picante Taqueria in San Rafael. Beso offers California cuisine with an emphasis on seafood. Watch for a signature Peruvian dish from Leo Correa's mother country, called lomo saltado, a kind of beef stir fry.
Safeway, Hamilton Marketplace 5720 Nave Dr, Novato, CA94949 The newest Safeway in Novato is at Hamilton Marketplace, a shopping center that caters to the burgeoning neighborhoods…More near the former air force base. This location, opened in 2007, took the place of an aging Safeway at Pacheco Plaza shopping center about one mile away. The new one has a Jamba Juice, a Starbucks, a Wells Fargo desk and a DVD kiosk. Customers can also enjoy fresh baked goods from the bakery and store-made deli treats. Outside, there is a gas station that gives discounts to those with Safeway club cards.
Hamilton Old Gym 115 San Pablo Ave., Novato, CA94949 Hamilton Gym was a hotbed of activity during the days when the Hamilton Air Force Base was thriving and miltary…More personnel and their families lived in that corner of Novato. Now that the base is decommissioned and Hamilton is a residential area. The gym isn't quite as lively. However, the old place is an important part of the indoor recreational options available to Novato residents. City rec league teams and youth sports teams use the courts mostly for basketball. The adjacent bowling alley and boxing club are now closed.
Unity In Marin 600 Palm Dr, Novato, CA94949 Unity in Marin is a medium-sized, Spanish-style church in the center of Hamilton, formerly a U.S. Air Force base on…More Novato's south side. The elegant facility is one of Hamilton's gems and attracts several hundred people for its 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Sunday services. The church, a member of the Association of Unity Churches International, welcomes people from many faiths and denominations. The meeting rooms and sanctuary are popular event rentals.
The newest museum in Novato, the Hamilton Field History Museum, opened in May 2010 and drew many airmen who once…More served at the former air base. The grand opening took place on the 75th anniversary of the dedication of Hamilton Field. The base was operational from 1935 to 1974, first as an Army Air Corps field and later as a station for the U.S. Air Force. Hamilton is named after a World War I flier from Marin who was killed in action in France.
The museum, a rebuilt firehouse erected in 1934, was renovated by a crew of volunteers and was years in the making. It is a joint venture between the city and the Novato Historical Guild. Inside are hundreds of artifacts from the base's heyday, including photos, uniforms, pins, medals and a cockpit simulator. There is a library and research center full of books, posters and videos. Volunteers, curators and docents actively seek additional items from the public to place on display.
U S Coast Guard Pacific Strike Team 350 Hangar Ave, Novato, CA94949 The Pacific Strike Team answers the call to marine disasters all over the United States such as the Gulf oil spill. They…More are known best for rapidly deploying with specialized equipment and incident management skills any time to any place or hazard. Many in the highly trained crew, based the southernmost hangar at the former Hamilton Air Force base, live with their families in the Spanish-style military housing enclave at the southern end of Hamilton. The team is connected closely to personnel at Coast Guard Island in Alameda and two other strike teams in the U.S.
Hamilton Meadow Park School serves one of the newest sections of the city, one that has blossomed in the past 15…More years out of what used to be Hamilton Air Force Base and the residential area known as Hamilton Field. Today it's just called Hamilton, and its citizens run the gamut from white collar to welfare recipients.
The school is just off the Highway 101 frontage road called Nave Drive, and a stone's throw from the vintage Hamilton Field archway on Main Gate Road.
The student body is comprised of kids mostly from Hamilton (including the sector called Meadow Park) and the nearby Pacheco Valle area on the other side of Highway 101. Enrollment plunged when the Air Force and other military personnel moved out in the early 1990s, but the student population has bounced back as new housing was built over the past decade.
The school is one of eight elementary schools in the Novato Unified School District, but it also has sixth and seventh grades to accommodate the need in the area and slow the flow of students to San Jose Middle School in Ignacio. In 2010-11 it is scheduled to add eighth grade as well.
Hamilton has 27 classrooms, a multipurpose room/cafeteria, a library, two staff lounges, a computer lab, an art/music room and two large playgrounds.
Hamilton's elementary API index for the 2008-2009 academic year was 845. The state has set 800 as the score schools should strive to meet.
As of the 2009-2010 school year, the ethnic breakdown of the student body included 44.8 percent Hispanics, 37.7 percent whites, 8.4 percent African Americans and 5.3 percent Asian Americans. The sixth graders were 52.1 percent whites, 36 percent Hispanics, 5 percent Asian Americans and 4.9 percent African Americans.
Thirty-seven percent of the elementary students in 2009-2010 and 29 percent of the sixth graders were considered English language learners, slightly above district averages.
The socioeconomic status of the families in the Hamilton area is below the district average. The school has 57 percent of its kids labled as socioeconomically challenged compared with the district average of 32.9 percent, according to district statistics (socioeconomically disadvantaged students are those receiving free or reduced lunch or when neither parent is a high school graduate). Forty-two percent of the school's parents had college degrees, below the district average of 53 percent.
This public swimming pool on Novato's south side reopened on Memorial Day weekend 2010 following a somewhat…More controversial $4.5 million renovation. The pool is now a crown jewel of the city's Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department and uses many high-tech, energy-saving devices, including solar energy panels.
The pool, which was closed for a year, was managed this first season back by the city of San Rafael under a partnership deal between the municipalities. Novato needed to contract for the services because of a lack of city staff, and San Rafael had a successful track record of operating its own pools. It was opened through Labor Day and received strong reviews from the public.
The pool had been built in the 1930s as part of Hamilton Army Air Field, which later became Hamilton Air Force Base. In recent years the Marin County Department of Health restricted the bathhouse use and the pool was leaking. Even in its deteriorating condition, it was seen as an important recreational asset worth preserving by the city. The Novato City Council unanimously approved the renovation plan in 2007 and OK'd the construction bid in February 2009 just as the national economy was tanking and Novato's lack of tax revenue was beginning to create problems. The council cited the low bid—$1 million less than expected—and the historic value of the pool as reasoning for the renovation.
Day-use passes and and season passes are available.