New Tri-Cities Corps allows for expanded services

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The construction project was primarily funded by donations through a $4.5 million capital campaign.

After nearly two years of construction, The Salvation Army Tri-Cities (California) Corps officially opened its new community center building in Newark on May 25. The facility will service the area of Fremont, Newark and Union City.   

“I’m really happy to see this come together,” said Lt. David Kim, Tri-Cities Corps officer. “A lot of community members have seen this new building and they’re asking questions, and some have asked how to get involved. So this is all good news.”

The 11,000 square-foot Salvation Army Tri-Cities Corps Community Center will allow for an increase in social services assistance, create and expand youth and adult educational programs, and allow for more attendees of church services and programs. There will also be a commercial-sized kitchen to provide meal services on a weekly basis.       

“I’ve seen the facility, what it was before, and the great need to have expanded services, and now [the new community center] is a reality,” said Lily Mei, Mayor of Fremont. “From the elderly to the new immigrant family and as well as to our students with parents who may be working, to have that type of support services is so critical to have in this area.”

The construction project was primarily funded by donations through a $4.5 million capital campaign. The Salvation Army Tri-Cities Corps is also seeking additional donations to purchase kitchen equipment and computers for educational programs.

“We’re talking about nearly $5 million, so that’s just a major accomplishment by the community and by the board to get this done,” said Mark Lindquist, Alameda County Advisory Board member. “It’s worth it because this is a first-class facility. There’s a need for this in this community, a place to help and a place to worship, and now we have it here.”

The new building sits on a 14-inch concrete foundation, which could withstand significant ground movement and could allow for continued services in the aftermath of any major Bay Area earthquake.   

“The Tri-Cities facility was designed to very high seismic standards, with consideration of the most recent earthquake shaking levels available at the time the investigation was conducted,” said Alan Kropp, President and Principal Engineer at Alan Kropp & Associates, a geotechnical structural engineering firm. “The building, including the community kitchen should not be severely damaged during a major earthquake so food services can be provided to the community after any needed clean-up of fallen objects and confirmation of functional utilities; no significant damage to the structure is likely.”

The new community center is located at the same site where The Salvation Army had operated its social services and church activities for more than 20 years until that facility was finally demolished in August of 2015. The Salvation Army Tri-Cities Corps has been operating its social services and church programs in a temporary facility since that time.

“When we were in the temporary building, we had a gap where we couldn’t do much, including not having church services,” Lt. Kim said. “Now, the future is bright. We’re getting some to come back and worship, and I feel God is opening new doors for new people to come and experience what we have here.”

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