County supe has $15m lined up; support from Kaiser

By Yousuf Fahimuddin.

Hayward is looking to provide a replacement to the aging Eden Youth and Family Center building on the corner of Tennyson and Ruus Road, but it may not have the money to help fund it.

The new facility will cost $25 million to produce, the City of Hayward estimates. Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle managed to secure about $9.6 million in county funding, including $2.2 million from the Alameda County Office of Education. Kaiser Permanente has also offered $5 million to the project contingent on whether it is satisfied with funding for the center’s long-term operations.

Closing the roughly $10 million funding gap for the project, first proposed earlier this year by Valle, will be difficult, said the city. Both city leaders and the Hayward Area Recreation District (HARD) say they have no money to give the center on an annually basis.

Councilmember Al Mendall suggested asking future tenants of the center to pay rent to help shore up part of the costs. The city estimates annual upkeep could be anywhere from $3-8 million. The council was not asked to make a decision on the item Tuesday and will return to the subject at a later date.

The Eden Youth and Family Center (EYFC) has been operated by a non-profit of the same name since the 1970s and leased to them by the city. On the site are programs for teens, an adult school, daycare, clinics and a center for day laborers.

The Day Labor Center and the Community Day School were both brought up in the staff report as potentially not being “the right fit” for the family and youth center.

Paul Frumkin, who has served on the EYFC board for 25 years, questioned the city’s assertion and also addressed the report’s allegations that the EYFC did not submit its tax filings for several years, asking the city for proof.

City Manager Fran David issued a written statement before the meeting saying the report had “unnecessarily focused on the Eden Youth and Family Center” and said she took full responsibility for the report’s focus. The purpose of the council is to decide how to best administer the funds provided for the construction of a new building on the site while keeping in the good wishes of the donors, particularly Kaiser, added David.

The City Council was largely in agreement that the proposed center and its programs should be both family and teen focused, and should have synergy with the adjacent Matt Jimenez Center operated by HARD and the Fire Station Clinic down the block, set to open in December.

Councilmembers Francisco Zermeno and Sara Lamnin suggested non-profits should be allowed to bid for proposals for governance of the center, Both, though expressed a desire for the council to be more involved in the process. Zermeno is a member of the EYFC’s board of directors, according to its web site.

The building should be a landmark for the Tennyson community, said Zermeno. “I want to see a wow building, something people driving down Tennyson would say, “Wow, what is that?”

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Originally posted at East Bay Citizen.

Yousuf Fahimuddin is a former editor-in-chief of The Pioneer, Cal State East Bay’s student-run newspaper.