Friday, June 21, 2013

Southeast Community Facility gets $10M makeover

Dr. Espanola Jackson, longtime SECF supporter, and SECF Executive Director Dr. Toye Moses are pictured at a 2007 community mural unveiling at the campus.  Photo: Richard Uchida
The Southeast Community Facility, one of Bayview's most historic community meeting places is undergoing capital improvements that the SF Public Utilities Commission expects will "transform it into a vibrant community center."

The Southeast Community Facility Commission reports in its minutes that the changes underway will "include physical improvements and electrical upgrades to the Phelps Avenue wing of the facility and to part of the 3rd floor classroom area where San Francisco City College currently operates two classrooms."

The improvement process will kick into high gear next year when the SFPUC plans to "upgrade the entire facility" through a $10 million investment.

Why is the Southeast Community Facility historic?

In the early '70s, San Francisco City officials proposed expanding the Southeast Sewage Treatment plant in Bayview, a neighborhood that was opposed to the expansion.

Neighborhood leaders argued that the Southeast section of the City had become a dumping ground for the facilities that other neighborhoods had rejected.

City officials then proposed to “give” the community a football field on top of the proposed underground facility, a proposal the community found was inadequate as compensation for a sewage treatment plant.  Residents also believed that the facility would never be built underground in any case, something later proven to be true. Newer plans proposed a field that residents would have to take an elevator to get to.

Shafter Avenue Community Club president Harold Madison and Art Agnos made the first donations to establish a community fund to fight the sewage treatment plant expansion.  This began a massive organizing effort that included an amendment to the Clean Water Act that required development of the Southeast Mitigation Facility—the first time in the nation’s history that Clean Water Act funds could be used to compensate a neighborhood for expansion of a sewage facility.

After a fifteen year fight, the Southeast Community Facility was built and a commission was established in 1987 by ordinance of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Read more about this historic place and time.


Qiana Davis said...

Wow! Awesome!

It's what community looks like said...

Thanks, Qiana ... for this and other great comments about all the good things happening in Bayview!

Anonymous said...

its an amazing blog about community..thanks for posting...keep on posting about new things...