The Chinese Recreation Center, known for years as Chinatown’s unofficial backyard, will reopen Saturday with a new name and a sparkling $21 million building, but the same commitment to providing a spot for sport, play and relaxation in one of the nation’s most densely populated communities.
The center “is at the heart of the Chinatown community, and its rebuild brings a state-of-the-art facility into one of our oldest and most historic neighborhoods,” said Mayor Ed Lee, who as a young lawyer used to play basketball at the center.
The mayor will be at Mason and Washington streets at 12:15 Saturday afternoon for the grand opening of the center, which will be named for San Francisco native Betty Ann Ong, a 45-year-old American Airlines flight attendant who died aboard one of the jets that slammed into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Ong, using an air phone, was the first person to alert authorities to the terrorist attacks.
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