SF State to create 2.5 acre recreational green space by Spring 2013

Concrete crumbles to the ground while the sounds of steel bars being bent and ripped apart ring out like gunshots against the windows of the Humanities Building.

SF State’s demolition of the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, which stands on the corner of Font Boulevard and Tapia Drive, will provide students with a 2.5 acre recreational green space.

Demolition is 40 percent complete, according to Nancy Hayes, SF State vice president and chief financial officer for administration and finance.

The site was bought for $11.1 million from the San Francisco Unified School District. Greg Mowbray, the construction manager for Capital Planning, Design and Construction, explained the reason behind the wreckage.

“As the demolition progresses, the contractor is separating the steel reinforcing bars from the concrete for recycling purposes. The concrete debris will be trucked to Lot 25 for additional crushing and stockpiling for use in future campus projects,” Mowbray said.

The 51,000 square foot decaying structure has been abandoned since 2002. Once the debris has been cleared, the University will construct a 2.5 acre green space for student activities like club events or intramural sports matches.

Oakland-based group Byrens Kim Design Works will remove the concrete for the next three months.

The University hopes to eventually build clinical classrooms on the site to accommodate disciplines like nursing or physical therapy, but this project has not been planned, according to Hayes.

The athletics department will not be using the site, but it will be designated for student clubs and intramural leagues. By Spring 2013, the green space should be available for use.

“We offer intramural leagues in the evening, so there will be lit games at night. But during the day, the students will be able to have pick-up games,” said Ryan Fetzer, the intramural and sports club coordinator for the Campus Recreation Department.

With the current funding situation for CSUs, it’s come as no surprise that plans for the clinical classrooms are far away.

“At this point, funds aren’t even in the picture to hire an architect for the project for at least a decade,” Mowbray said.