SFPUC Celebrates Milestone for the New Southeast Community Center at 1550 Evans Avenue

Builders place the final steel beam of building marking the next phase of construction

 The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Supervisor Shamann Walton, local community members and City leaders celebrated the next phase of construction for the new Southeast Community Center at 1550 Evans Avenue earlier this month, with the placement of the building’s last steel beam by Pankow Builders as part of a Topping-Off Ceremony.

“This Community Center represents the very best of what government and community can do together,” said SFPUC Acting General Manager Michael Carlin. “This center was envisioned by the community, for the community. The project supports good jobs for the skilled people building this center and it represents the deep commitment of the SFPUC to put community at the forefront of our work every day.”

Scheduled to be completed in 2022, construction of the new Southeast Community Center (SECC) at 1550 Evans Avenue has reached an important construction milestone. The placement of the last beam completes the steel erected for the structure’s frame and marks the beginning of construction for the interior and exterior of the building.

The new community center will feature an expanded childcare center, nonprofit workspace, large multi-purpose rooms, and a stand-alone Alex Pitcher Pavilion for community events. The green spaces will include gardens, picnic areas, and play areas for children. The center will host a wide range of programs and services to serve Southeast residents of all ages.

“I am looking forward to the day when this building is completed, and its doors are thrown open to the community,” said SFPUC Commission President Sophie Maxwell and former District 10 Supervisor.” I think about all the families who will picnic on the grounds, the kids who will learn in its classrooms, and about the non-profits that will find a home here. I think about a better tomorrow, one where we can be together in this amazing space.”

The new Southeast Community Center will replace the existing Southeast Community Facility (SECF), located at 1800 Oakdale Avenue. The SECF is owned by the City and County of San Francisco, operated and maintained by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), and was constructed in partnership with the Bayview-Hunters Point community to mitigate the environmental and social impacts of the Southeast Treatment Plant’s (SEP) expansion in the 1970s and 1980s. 

Bayview community advocates known as the Big Six—Dr. Espanola Jackson, Harold Madison, Eloise Westbrook, Ethel Garlington, Shirley Jones, and Alex Pitcher—were instrumental in the development of the old facilities and ensured they were designed to bring needed resources to the community through workforce, childcare and educational opportunities. 

After an extensive community engagement process, where an overwhelming majority of participants preferred building a new community center over renovating the old one, the SFPUC is now making the new community center come to life. 

The new structure at 1550 Evans Avenue is being built as part of the SFPUC’s Sewer System Improvement Program (SSIP). Through the SSIP, the SFPUC is upgrading and modernizing the SEP, the City’s largest and oldest wastewater facility responsible for treating 80 percent of the City’s flows. Overall, the SFPUC is investing over $2 billion into new facilities and equipment to reduce odors, be better prepared for earthquakes and sea level rise, and ensure operational efficiency and redundancy.

The SFPUC is committed to supporting the communities impacted by its operations. As the agency invests in its infrastructure, it is also investing in local, underserved communities such as District 10 (D10) by connecting youth and adults with learning, apprenticeship, job training, employment, and business opportunities, by providing low cost childcare facilities, family, and non-profit spaces, investing in neighborhood revitalization projects, and educating the next generation of environmental stewards. These programs support a strong, inclusive, local economy and a skilled, diverse, local workforce for today and tomorrow. 

“I get emotional when I go to the site and see the steel going up and the cement being poured,” said Etta Jones, a long time Bayview-Hunter Point Jones, who used to teach elementary school at the site and now works as a Data Entry Clerk for the building contractors, Pankow Builders. “The building will be significant to the community because a lot people put in a lot work to make sure it would really happen.” 

The SFPUC, in partnership with the SECF tenants and Bayview residents, is committed to continuing its support of the community to ensure a healthy and vibrant Bayview-Hunters Point in the new community center.