Oakland, CA – The City of Oakland broke ground Saturday at a major new project, the much-anticipated renovation and expansion of the Rainbow Recreation Center in the Seminary Neighborhood of East Oakland. It marks the first new building project to break ground with funding from Measure KK, an infrastructure bond approved by Oakland voters in November 2016.
“This project hits all our bases: it’s mindful of the environment, good for local business, and a direct benefit for local residents, particularly the young people in the surrounding neighborhood,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “This project replaces damaged and aged City infrastructure, employs Oakland workers, and provides a beautiful new venue for the entire community to gather for weekly programming and special events. It is a true reflection of the difference Measure KK is making.”
“This project is a wonderful statement of Oakland’s commitment to equity,” Councilmember Desley Brooks said. “It is the first Measure KK funded project; with the addition of this funding we were able to ensure that this deserving community gets a beautifully designed building that serves its needs. This community has been working with the City for this project for many years. I’m proud of their hard work and grateful for our shared success bringing this vision to life at last.”
Oakland Parks & Recreation Director Nicholas Williams added, “Growing up in Oakland, less than a mile from Rainbow Recreation I understand both the importance and necessity of this new facility. Rainbow Recreation is the heart and soul of East Oakland and the community deserves the best facility the City can offer. This is what Oakland Parks, Recreation and Youth Development is all about. With an emphasis on Oakland's youth, OPRYD and its partners will provide best in class, relevant and equitable programs and services, while meeting the specific needs of people and communities both at the neighborhood level and regionally throughout the City of Oakland. We achieve this mission through intention al engagement and by removing the barriers that prohibit equitable opportunities for all."
The project is budgeted at $13.7 million and slated for 10 months of construction. It will replace the existing recreation center, improve the site for ADA accessibility, add a multi-purpose sports field, restore the adjacent creek, and add interpretive education elements, including a new community vegetable garden. Additional features include:
- Two multipurpose rooms that can be combined into one
- Open lobby space that can be used as a rental
- Computer room
- Kitchen that can accommodate cooking classes
- Office, restrooms, and other support spaces
- Soccer/flag football practice field
- Entry plaza with sundial integrated into the roof
- Native plants and low-water landscaping with vegetated bioswales to treat storm water
- Water-conserving irrigation system
- Sports and pedestrian lighting improvements
The project is funded by grants from:
- California Proposition 84 Bond (Statewide Park Program)
- East Bay Regional Park District Measure WW Bond (Regional Open Space, Wildlife, Shoreline and Parks Bond)
- California Department of Housing and Community Development’s Housing-Related Parks Program,
- California Proposition 40 Bond (Youth Soccer and Recreation Development), and
- The Oakland Infrastructure and Affordable Housing Bond, Measure KK
As the first major building project funded with Measure KK funds, the project reflects the City’s commitment to delivering the improved public facilities included in the bond measure. It was approved in the 2017-2019 Capital Improvement Program.
The project is designed by Oakland-based Byrens Kim Design Works as the architects, and the general contractor is Oakland-based JUV, Inc.
The new facility will be energy efficient, achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating, including water-conserving irrigation and plumbing fixtures and native planting.
The facility is the only civic recreation center serving East Oakland in the Seminary, Lockwood Garden, Melrose, and other neighborhoods along International Boulevard. The expanded facility will offer new programming opportunities in a new, updated facility to better serve a community that is diverse and historically underserved. The expanded facility will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, providing improved access to staff and patrons such as seniors and those with mobility impairment. The facility is anticipated to re-open to the public in Spring 2019.
For more information on the project, please contact Sean Maher, Public Information Officer, City of Oakland, at SMaher@oaklandnet.com, and Denise Louie, Project Manager, Oakland Public Works, at DLouie@oaklandnet.com.
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