Rec center poised for large-scale renovation

One of The City’s oldest and most popular recreation centers is finally slated for demolition this week after a decade of securing funding, sketching renderings and preparing Chinatown residents for its reconstruction.

The renovation of the Chinese Recreation Center at 1199 Mason St. is one of the largest open-space capital projects funded by voter-approved money, with about $21 million set aside through bonds since 2000.

Generations of children have grown up playing basketball and other sports at the concrete center built in 1951, but the building is not stable enough to withstand an earthquake, according to officials at the Department of Public Works.

“The building, it is not unsafe but it’s not seismically safe to resist a seismic force,” senior architect Peter Wong said. “We’re talking about a totally new facility for the community, not just the rec center’s interior, but also the exterior.”

Its seismic liabilities put it at the top of a capital-projects list in 2008, though it was already on the list of projects benefitting from a 2000 parks bond.

Now, a three-story green-certified facility with 21,680 square feet, three multipurpose rooms, a gymnasium, a preschool play area and several other amenities is planned for completion within 18 months.

The construction contract was awarded to local company Plant Construction at almost half the price the Recreation and Park Department anticipated paying.

“We can thank the competitive economy for that,” Wong said.

In the meantime, classes have been temporarily moved to playgrounds and centers in the immediate area, and rec directors have been sifting through decades of equipment figuring out what should stay and what should go.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

SF Examiner
Share
Published by
SF Examiner

Recent Posts

SF artist who punched elderly neighbor to death claims self-defense

Sylvester Guard had lost his keys. So the 38-year-old artist known for painting trash cans in the Tenderloin rang the…

2 hours ago

Oakland Athletics not scoreboard watching with chance to clinch at home

OAKLAND -- There was not a single television in the Oakland Athletics tuned to the Tampa Bay-Toronto game on Sunday…

3 hours ago

BART equipment failure fills Civic Center Station with smoke

Smoke from an equipment failure on a BART track prompted transit officials to temporarily close Civic Center Station on Saturday…

6 hours ago

RV life

David Samples lived in a rundown 1971 Chinook RV in the Bayview District for about six months before he sought…

14 hours ago

Oakland Athletics could clinch playoff berth at home as magic number drops to one

OAKLAND -- The Tampa Bay Rays had just fallen behind 3-1 to the Toronto Blue Jays, and in the Oakland…

15 hours ago

Questions remain as Treasurer’s Public Bank Task Force comes to a close

Seven months after convening the Municipal Public Bank Task Force and after, presumably, seven months of research, public bank advocates…

15 hours ago