San Francisco, CA
—The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has begun construction on the new Southeast Community Center in the Bayview neighborhood. Owned and operated by the SFPUC, the center will provide community meeting rooms, two acres of green space, and a wide range of social services, including low-cost child care.
“The people of Bayview Hunters Points shared with us their vision for a community center in their neighborhood, and we have heard their message loud and clear,” said Mayor London N. Breed. “Residents wanted a state-of-the-art center where the community could come together and learn, grow, connect and support each other—and that’s exactly what they are getting. The groundbreaking of this center is truly a special moment for the people of this community.”
“From the very beginning, we said that this community center would reflect the needs and wishes of residents, and we are thrilled to deliver on that promise,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. “Through our collaborative, productive outreach process, the new Southeast Community Center will truly be a hub for the Bayview neighborhood. At the SFPUC, we understand that our mission extends beyond the services we provide—we must also be an integral part of the communities we serve. This center is an extension of that commitment.”
The community center was developed after an extensive engagement process with Bayview residents, who voiced support for building the new center at 1550 Evans Avenue. Set to open in spring 2022, the community center will include a large, state-of-the-art special events space for meetings, events such as dance classes, family celebrations, and community fairs, along with a multi-purpose room, office and co-working space for community non-profits, and a café with Wi-Fi.
Other features of the 45,000 square foot, three-story community center include:
Two acres of green space with picnic tables and play areas.
Onsite affordable child care.
Green Building Design/LEED Gold Certified.
Public art from local artists through the Bayview Artist Registry.
Convenient access via several MUNI bus and light rail stops, onsite parking with electric vehicle charging.
Solar panels on roof and 100 percent greenhouse gas-free hydroelectricity from the Hetch Hetchy Regional Power System.
The existing Southeast Community Facility, located at 1800 Oakdale Avenue, was constructed in partnership with the Bayview-Hunters Point community to mitigate the environmental and social impacts of the SFPUC’s Southeast Treatment Plant's expansion in the 1970s and 1980s.
The Bayview community was instrumental in advocating for and ensuring that these facilities were developed and designed to provide workforce, childcare and educational opportunities in their community. Along with its partners, the SFPUC took part in a yearlong engagement process that included 45 public meetings, knocking on over 2,400 doors and participating in more than 1,000 in-depth surveys filled out by residents.
“The fulfillment of prior promises and commitments to community, is one of the things we are working hard to realize in our office,” said Supervisor Shamann Walton. “It is exciting to see one of those promises of a brand-new 21st century community center for Bayview come to fruition. We will make sure the activities at the community center benefit everyone in the Bayview, and we are looking forward to the new state of the art education facility, that will lead to tangible career opportunities for our community. This is one investment centered around benefitting our neighborhood and we look forward to the day the doors officially open.”
Among the residents who lobbied on behalf of the facilities were pioneering civil rights advocates Dr. Espanola Jackson, Harold Madison, Eloise Westbrook, Ethel Garlington, Shirley Jones and Alex Pitcher.
“Bayview has a long history of activism, guided by its sense of self-determination,” said SECC Executive Director Emily Rogers-Pharr. “This new community center is the continuation of the work. Moreover, it is an excellent example of how people can influence equitable public policy, practice, accountability, and alignment when the community and government collaborate.”
“This new center has had a lot of community involvement in planning, and that's important” said Oscar James, a local resident and Bayview Hunters Point Historian. “The original center didn't have as much community involvement when planning. The residents here are happy that the SFPUC made the effort to make sure our voices were heard this time.”
The SFPUC is committed to being a good neighbor and environmental steward in the communities we serve. Along with the Southeast Community Center, the SFPUC manages community and education-focused sites on other property it owns, such as the College Hill Learning Garden
, the Sunol AgPark
and Hummingbird Farm
The agency was the first utility in the nation to create Environmental Justice
and Community Benefits
programs. These initiatives shape how the SFPUC provides water, power and sewer services while ensuring the work positively impacts the communities it serves.
Included in the Community Benefits mission is the SFPUC’s Social Impact Partnership
Program, which invites private sector firm partners to give back locally to the communities in which they are performing work on behalf of the SFPUC. The SFPUC is the first public utility in the country to implement a social impact program that advances corporate social responsibility as a part of its competitive bidding process for professional services, alternative delivery and energy procurement contracts valued at $5 million or more.
Examples of the SFPUC’s Social Impact Partnership program include the Maisin Scholar Award, which provides financial support for local youth to pursue higher education, the Bayview Bistro, and CityWorks, which offers paid internships for residents in the City’s Southeast communities.
About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and generates clean power for municipal buildings, residents, and businesses. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at www.sfwater.org.