Capital Campaign: Don Fisher Clubhouse

The Don Fisher Clubhouse

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Rendering of the Don Fisher Clubhouse;
Architect: Tom Eliot Fisch | Construction: Nibbi

Early in 2012, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted 11-0 in favor of selling us a parcel of land for this new Clubhouse. In March 2013, the Planning Commission approved the project in a 7-0 vote. A groundbreaking ceremony took place on November 1, 2013 and the Grand Opening should occur by early 2015!

Fulton Street Clubhouse rendering, Lobby

Don Fisher Clubhouse rendering, Lobby


A Tribute To Don Fisher

donfisherWe are proud that our new Club will be known as the Don Fisher Clubhouse. It is a privilege to honor the legacy of the late Gap Inc. co-founder, who was an active board member and volunteer for our organization for nearly half of a century. A little known fact is that BGCSF was the first board that Don Fisher ever joined, becoming a director at the age of 36, six years before he and his wife Doris founded the Gap. Don Fisher’s impact on the organization is truly immeasurable. The naming of this Clubhouse is a tribute to his 46-years of Board service, his tremendous generosity, his love of San Francisco, and his tireless efforts on behalf of at-risk youth.

Our objectives for the new Clubhouse:

  • Construct a building that will, for at least the next four decades, meet the needs of school-age, at-risk youth of Western Addition, Lower Haight, Hayes Valley, and the Tenderloin
  • House the headquarters of Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco.

With the new Club, our goal is to annually serve nearly 2,000 youth, ages 6-18, with an average daily attendance of 190. The Club will be open year-round: every day after school and all-day in the summer months and during school breaks.

More info:

Fulton Street Clubhouse rendering, level 2 with Learning Center, Arts & Crafts, and Teen Center

Don Fisher Clubhouse rendering, level 2 with Learning Center, Arts & Crafts, and Teen Center

The new Clubhouse will feature an art studio, learning center, high school services center, middle school center, multi-purpose space, competition-size swimming pool, and high school-size gym; in addition to the organizational headquarters for BGCSF.

This new Clubhouse replaces our Ernest Ingold Club on Page Street in the upper Haight which was built in 1952. Physically, the facility is worn from decades of use with old infrastructure (plumbing, electrical, heating), aged bathroom facilities, an inefficient layout, and no energy efficient systems. That said, the primary reason for relocation is that the neighborhood has changed dramatically since the Club was constructed 60+ years ago. The children and teens we serve do not live in this neighborhood, but instead largely live in the Western Addition, Lower Haight and Hayes Valley. Moving the Club aligns with our mission of “serving the youth who need us the most”.

Over the past 18 months we have conducted a multi-layered community process to gauge support for this opportunity. Multiple focus groups were held with alumni, teens, parents and community members. Conversations with city officials, SF Police Department and other community-based organizations took place. Overall there was strong endorsement of the project. As the Club is constructed, we will host more forums for our constituents to inform the new Club’s program priorities.

Aerial view of Fulton and Gough site (currently a parking lot).

Aerial view of Fulton and Gough site (currently a parking lot).

The new Clubhouse will be on Fulton Street between Gough and Franklin, within walking distance to most of the housing in the Western Addition and Hayes Valley, and in close proximity to many public transportation lines. It is considered by youth, families and law enforcement as a “neutral” location capable of drawing kids from all corners of the target neighborhood and from across the city.

There are 6,500 school-age youth who live in close proximity to the new Club. The target area has high socio-economic disparities, with pockets of relative affluence juxtaposed with pockets of extreme poverty. There is an enormous amount of public housing and subsidized housing in the immediate vicinity. The median income is $27,892 and 82% of housing inventory is rented. About a third of the households have a language other than English spoken at home and there is great ethnic diversity: African American, Asian, Latino, Multi-Racial and White.

We look forward to actively partnering with existing services in the neighborhood to maximize success for the young people we serve. Potential partners: Mo Magic, African American Art & Culture Complex, Gateway High and Middle Schools, Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, San Francisco Housing Authority, SF Unified School District, the new SFJAZZ Center, and KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy and its new high school.

Our Green Initiative

In line with the Green Initiative of Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco, we are committed to the goal of achieving LEED Gold Certification for the new Don Fisher Clubhouse. Some of the “green” features of this innovative building will be rooftop solar panels and extensive use of natural ventilation and light. Energy performance of the new Club is projected to be 22% more efficient than the California Energy Code.

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