Casa Latina breaks ground today on a new building that will greatly expand their current space at 17th and Jackson. Mayor McGinn will be at the 11 a.m. ceremony to say a few words to mark the beginning of work on the three-story, 6,000 square foot building.
The building will help house the organization’s growing programs, focused on training and finding work for Latino day laborers. It will have retail and a kitchen on the ground level, and the organization plans to house a new labor hall, classrooms and offices in the rest of the space.
From Casa Latina:
Casa Latina will break ground on a new 6,000 sq ft building that will complete its existing campus on South Jackson St. on Thursday, February 9, 2012. The community is invited to attend the celebration, which begins at 11 am.
Casa Latina, a Seattle-based non-profit organization that works to educate and assist Latino day laborers, is expanding its campus to meet the growing needs of the workers who receive job skills and safety training and job dispatch services. Phase I was completed in 2009, when Casa Latina’s programs moved from its trailer and temporary shelters to its current facility. Since that time, Casa Latina has added additional programs, become more visible in the community and grown in efficiency. This second Phase of the project will maximize flexibility for programming and establish a community gathering space that reflects Latino culture.
“We envision a lively cultural center where Latinos and other community members will come together to celebrate and strengthen social networks,” says Hilary Stern, Founding Executive Director of Casa Latina. “Creating a sense of home and belonging is the foundation of Casa Latina.”
The new three story structure will have offices, classrooms, a new labor hall, and retail space and a kitchen in the lower level. The exterior will feature a space for artwork, a small plaza and a stairclimb. It is envisioned as a welcoming new home for Casa Latina and a great addition to the neighborhood. The design includes many sustainable features including natural ventilation, raingardens and extensive use of recycled and reclaimed materials. The building was designed by Johnston Architects and Anderson Construction Company is the general contractor.
“We are amazed and grateful for the outpouring of community support that has brought us to this moment,” says Stern. “With the investment of our current and future supporters, we are weathering the economic storm and moving forward on this very necessary project that will benefit not only Casa Latina’s workers, but the entire community.”
Date: Thursday, February 9, 2012
Time: 11:00 am
Location: Casa Latina, 317 17th Ave. S. Seattle, 98144
With decreasing demand for day laborer services why does CASA need to expand? With their move to 17th & Jackson, CASA moved away from their constituency and therefore reduced the demand / need for their services.
Hopefully the City & County will realize that the funds spent at CASA are being used for facilities and staff salaries and that funds are not reaching the target population that they are purportedly serving.
Recently a CASA day laborer was seriously injured while on a job that CASA assigned him to. Is that when the safety training program started? CASA should be held liable for dispatching the worker on a job that led to his injury.
CASA should be spending our tax funds on people and their programs, not on buildings.