SF Rec and Park to Open Glen Canyon Recreation Center After $14 Million Renovation

The Department unveils the City’s first public rock climbing wall

SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department led a facility tour of Glen Canyon Recreation Center today in advance of its official opening after its recent $14 million renovation, funded by the 2012 Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond. In recent years, with the support from San Francisco voters, the Department has invested more than $22 million in Glen Canyon Park, including $5.8 million for playground and tennis court renovations, and about $2.2 million for trail improvement that link the Glen Canyon neighborhood to the Twin Peaks neighborhood, both funded by the 2008 Parks Bond. The Recreation Center will be fully open and staffed starting mid-July.

“San Francisco is committed to investing in our parks and open space to better serve the growing needs of our community,” said Mayor Ed M. Lee. “The completion of Glen Canyon Park’s $14 million renovation is a milestone for our growing number of families and children in the neighborhood, and provides a safer and inclusive environment to better serve our seniors and people with disabilities.”

Glen Canyon is the oldest Rec Center in San Francisco. First built in 1938, with minor improvements made in 1977, this project renovated the gym and auditorium, added new ground floor restrooms and two climbing walls inside the Center, the first public climbing walls in San Francisco. The renovation overhaled all of the building’s systems including roofing, floors, windows, walls, structural and mechanical systems and added new central, multi-stall accessible restrooms on the ground floor of the recreation center. The project also added additional bleachers, located on both sides of the existing gym and a well-defined main entry with art installation to create a welcoming entrance.

“The renovation of Glen Canyon Recreation Center is the crowning achievement of years of work to improve Glen Canyon – one of our city’s very best parks,” said State Senator Scott Wiener. “I’m proud of the years of work we put into this project when I represented the neighborhood on the Board of Supervisors, and I congratulate everyone in the community and with the City who worked so hard to make this project a reality.”

Glen Canyon Park is a 66.6 acre regional and neighborhood park located in the Glen Park Neighborhood, between Elk Street and O’Shaughnessy Boulevard in supervisorial District 8. The park’s facilities include a recreation center, the Silver Tree day camp building, hiking trails and open space, two baseball fields, two tennis courts, and a children’s play area.

“As a Glen Park parent, my daughter and I have attended countless birthdays and other events at the old recreation center. Glen Canyon Park is like a second home to us and I’m thrilled to see the new recreation center open for neighbors and families to enjoy,” said District 8 Supervisor Jeff Sheehy, whose district includes the Glen Canyon Recreation Center. “This fantastic new facility, with its new amenities and modernization, is great for the neighborhood. Thank you to the Rec and Park Department who have made San Francisco one of the best cities in the nation for parks.”

The space that was long underutilized inside the Recreation Center, now has become the City’s first public indoor rock climbing wall.  This feature allows the community to experience rock climbing both indoors and outdoors at Glen Canyon Park year-round and serves all skill levels.  This renovation also addressed one of the most important features of the facility —providing updated ADA access. Additionally, there is a significant increase in area and flexibility in the space which allows for many types of programs to occur at the Center.

“This renovation has upgraded the oldest recreation center in our park system that had not received a major renovation since its initial construction, completed in 1938,” said Phil Ginsburg, SF Rec and Park General Manager. “With more than $22 million in improvements around Glen Canyon Park and its recreation center, we have expanded options for indoor and outdoor recreation for our community with diverse recreational interests.”

Glen Canyon is also home to SF Rec and Park’s Silver Tree Day Camp. The summer program was established in 1941 to expose city children to the benefits of nature – right in their own backyard. There was no building, but rather tents were set up to accommodate the day campers. Today, Silver Tree Day Camp has become one of the most popular camps in the City. Beyond Silver Tree Day Camp, Glen Canyon Park offers dynamic recreational opportunities to all people of all ages, from indoor and outdoor sports, to hiking and biking, children’s play, arts and crafts, and so much more.

“The Glen Park Association (GPA) was proud to partner with SF Rec and Park during the recent renovation to the Glen Park Recreation Center,” said Scott Stawicki, President of Glen Park Association.  “Many GPA members worked on community outreach for the new Recreation Center, providing a variety of constructive comments and ideas during the renovation’s planning and design phases.  Presenting our community with opportunities to work with city agencies like SF Rec and Park on public projects is a central goal for the GPA. We look forward to many more projects in the future.”

In 2011, SF Rec and Park partnered with the Trust for Public Land (TPL) to host a series of six community improvement workshops, which determined the project plan and the scope of work. TPL gifted the project improvement plan to the City in order to extend the funds that the City can spend on capital improvement. The gift came from the Coastal Conservancy through The Trust for Public Land.

“It is great to see this incredible recreational resource in the heart of San Francisco being preserved, and stewarded into the 21st century. This is a great example of the power of a community coming together behind a vision,” said Alejandra Chiesa, director of The Trust for Public Land’s San Francisco program.

Moreover, the new Glen Park Canyon Recreation Center features a new public art project by Charles Sowers, a local artist known for seamlessly melding his love of science into his art. Inspired by 19th-century meteorological instruments that used a spherical glass lens to burn a sunshine record on a substrate of wood or paper, Solar Totems is a sculptural data-logger made from three reclaimed redwood logs that creates an archive of the interaction of sun, weather and site.

“I want to congratulate the Recreation and Park Department on the superb renovation of the Glen Park Canyon Recreation Center,” said Director of Cultural Affairs Tom DeCaigny, “We were thrilled to have the opportunity to commission Charles Sowers who has created an artwork that speaks to the natural wonder of this unique urban park.”

“The Glen Park Recreation Center renovation project is a spectacular demonstration of how we can incorporate a 21st-century design into a historic building and make it work majestically,” said Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, whose staff designed and managed the project.



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