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  Maritime Center Groundbreaking March 24, 2010
March 17, 2010

Groundbreaking for the Maritime Child Development Center

youth councilWednesday, March 24, 2010

11:00am - 12:00pm


1014 Florida Avenue, Corner of Harbour Way and Florida Street, Richmond, CA

You are invited to attend the groundbreaking for the Maritime Center Rehabilitation at 11:00 AM, March 24, 2010, 1014 Florida Avenue (corner Florida and Harbour Way).

The Maritime Center was constructed in 1943 as part of the sprawling infrastructure to support the Kaiser Richmond Shipyards. A total of between 19 and 35 child care centers operated in Richmond during WWII, and the Maritime Center is one of only two surviving from that era, the other one being the Ruth Powers Center, formerly known as the Pullman Center on Maine Avenue. Both were closed in 2004 after over 60 years of continuous use when the new George Miller Child Development Center opened next door to the Powers Center.

These two child care centers are listed as part of the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park in the enabling legislation (H.R. 4063 / Public Law 106-352). The Maritime Center has been found eligible for the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service.

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The Maritime Center is more threatened than the Powers Center because it has no concrete foundation, possibly to save time and/or money during construction.

The effort to rehabilitate the Maritime Center began in 2004 at the suggestion of Judy Hart, then Superintendent of Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park. The plan was for Rosie the Riveter Trust, the non-profit partner of Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park, to partner with Richmond Children’s Foundation, a non-profit corporation, which would use the building for a charter school and apply for a $2 million grant from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE). The National Park Service would use a portion of the building for an interpretive facility.

Contra Costa County owns the building and has leased it to Rosie the Riveter Trust for 55 years in order to qualify it for CCHE grant funding. The County will transfer the building to Rosie the Riveter Trust later this month to facilitate the use of New Markets and Historic Preservation Tax Credits to help fund the project. Funding has been provided by the City of Richmond, West Contra Costa Unified School District, the National Park Service and CCHE.

The 2004 grant application failed, but a new application was re-filed in 2006. See the presentation that won the $2 million grant from the CA Culture & Historical Endowment (Acrobat .PDF - 850KB). The West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) committed for $1.5 million, and the City of Richmond committed for $500,000. The application was successful, and Rosie the Riveter Trust entered into a grant agreement with CCHE on June 1, 2007, for a $2 million matching grant.

When the rehabilitation is completed, the building will be occupied by offices of the Richmond Children’s Foundation, Richmond College Prep Charter School and the National Park Service, which will maintain an interpretive center in a restored classroom.

The Maritime Center is part of the NURVE (Nystrom Urban ReVitalization Effort) that has many partners and includes two other projects starting in 2010, the first phase of Nystrom School modernization and a new athletic Field for Martin Luther King, Jr. park.

Construction will be by Richmond contractor, Alten Construction, Inc., and will be completed at the end of 2010.