E-Mail Forum
  Maritime Center Groundbreaking
March 25, 2010

The Maritime Center groundbreaking attracted a large crowd on a beautiful sunny day yesterday.

Mayor McLaughlin recognized the importance of the building to the community, its new “green” design, and the jobs it brings to Richmond through local contractor Alten Construction. Martha Lee, Superintendent of Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park reviewed the historical significance of child care on the WWII Home Front and the role child care centers played in the Richmond shipyard complex. Supervisor John Gioia described the county’s role in the early head start program and the transferring of the building to the Rosie Trust.

WCCUSD Assistant Superintendent Bill Fay described the importance of the building’s asset as an educational facility for the community. Peppina Chang, CEO of Richmond College Prep Schools, introduced the school’s Children’s Choir who entertained during the ceremony and talked about the education programs to be provided in the building. 

Barbara Johnson, brought greetings from Congressman George Miller and introduced her colleagues Kathy Hoffman and Latressa Alford. She discussed the importance of preserving our national treasures and acknowledged that this center will be the second national park in the nation that is also a public school, the other being Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas

Joan Davis President and CEO of the Richmond Children’s Foundation detailed the importance of the building and its relationship to the NURVE initiative and its many community partners.

I summarized all the community partners that made the project possible, including the City of Richmond, the WCCUSD, Contra Costa County, National Park Service, Richmond Children’s Foundation and Richmond College Prep Charter School.

Following is a story from KCBS with an audio clip:

Posted: Wednesday, 24 March 2010 4:06PM

New Daycare Center Honors Historic Roots

RICHMOND, Calif. (KCBS)  -- Officials in Richmond have broken ground on a badly needed day care center in Richmond. For audio, click on:
ListenKCBS’ Bob Melrose reports
The $8 million child care center on Florida Avenue is due to open early next year and will sit on the site of the first childcare center in the nation, which opened in 1942 for the children of “Rosie the Riveter” women who worked for Kaiser at the Richmond Ship yard.
Richmond City Councilman Tom Butt, who was a driving force behind the center, said this will be part of the Rosie the Riveter National Historic Place and will become part of the National Park Service.
“One of the classrooms will be restored exactly the way it was in 1943,” he said. “We actually have all of the original furniture and toys. It will be an interpretive center that the National Park Service will operate. They will be able to bring visitors in there and show them exactly what this looked like in 1943, right down to the toys the children played with."
Butt told KCBS it took four years of jumping through bureaucratic hoops and struggling to obtain funding to get to this point.
"This was the most complicated project I’ve ever been involved with in my life,” he said. “There were so many people and agencies involved in it. We’ve been working on this for six years."
The money has come from various sources, including the city of Richmond, the West County School District, and state and federal governments.
The center is scheduled to open for business in January 2011.