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City Continues Interim Use for Decoto Community Center

Officials voted Tuesday against renovating the 10th Street Community Center for permanent use. Instead, minor repairs will be made for continued temporary use.

A popular Decoto community center will not be converted into a permanent youth facility as some residents had hoped. Instead, the 10th Street Community Center will continue to function temporarily until the building is sold or a new teen center is built.

Officials agreed Tuesday that converting the would be too costly.

Located at 33948 10th St., the youth center is housed in a 65-year-old former fire station that is designated for future sale. Staff estimates that the property, which spans two lots, could be sold for $180,000 at the current market value and for far more when the real estate market improves. The building may be sold in one to three years, staff said.

“To be perfectly candid, the chief building official said I didn’t really want to know how much [the repairs] would cost,” Deputy City Manager Tony Acosta said. Repairs would easily cost six figures, he said.

According to a staff report, the building would require up to $40,000 in immediate “make safe” repairs to bring it up to code, including improving exit systems and inspecting electrical wiring.

In allowing temporary use of the community center to continue, officials also agreed to make the immediate repairs using the Leisure Enterprise Funds.

Long-term use would require an additional $28,000 in annual maintenance costs and a new sprinkling system, estimated at $75,000. However, replacing the sprinkling system is not an immediate need and could be held off while the building is used temporarily, Acosta said.

“If you did all those improvements, you’ll still have an old building that was not designed for that purpose,” said City Manager Larry Cheeves. “If you wanted to use the site, my suggestion would be you tear down the building, which essentially has no value.”

Even if a new center was built on the land, the 10,000 square foot lot would not be able to meet the needs that the city hopes a new teen center will provide, he said.

A task force is currently brainstorming ideas for in the Decoto neighborhood to be funded through Measure WW parks and recreation funds.

In the case that the 10th Street building is sold, programs — including First Five, Parks & Playgrounds and the — would move to the new center or existing community facilities.

“I hope that those programs will continue to expand if we create more space for them to grow,” said Council member Lorrin Ellis.

The 10th Street location was also being considered a site for designed by local artist Lilia Reynoso.

At the Tuesday night meeting, Reynoso stated she did not want to create the mural if it would only be temporary. Already several months in planning, the mural included ideas from local youth and would have featured imagery symbolic of the history of Union City.

Reynoso instead expressed her desire to create a permanent installation at another Union City location.

Mayor Mark Green supported the idea of a permanent public mural and asked that staff and the Public Art Board review possibilities to be discussed at a November City Council meeting.

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