Residents voice concern over Sunnyside Multi-purpose Center relocation

By Jonathan Martinez - Anchor/Reporter
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HOUSTON - More than a hundred people packed the Sunnyside Multi-purpose center on Monday night, and they had a lot to say.

Many there were voicing their opposition to the city potentially relocating the facility to a site that was formerly a landfill.

"Why not stay here and make it what it's supposed to be?" resident Jane Scott said.

"A dump is a dump, there's no other way around that. Why risk anyone's health?" Travis McGee, a Sunnyside resident and president of a local Civic Club, said.

While several residents worry about potential safety hazards associated with the possible move, the city says soil tests have been done and came back fine.

"If we determine that it's an EPA or landfill issue, we will not put it there. The state using government dollars, you can't do it. You have to get testing," Houston City Councilman Dwight Boykins said.

Boykins, who called the community meeting, represents the Sunnyside district and says the current building is not safe and building at the new location would be better.

He also says rebuilding on the same property could amount to closing it for two to three years as it's reconstructed.

"My concern in that time frame, where would the seniors go? Where would the people who depend on it go?" Boykins said.

Still, some residents believe the facility should stay where it's at.

Many more meetings about the issue are already in the works.

"It's a land grab. That's all it is. Everyone knows that Sunnyside is a very, very valuable property. Everyone knows that," McGee said.

"What we want to do is a survey to a majority of the people in the Sunnyside community and get their opinion. Not just a few," Boykins said. "We will do what's in the best interest of the community."

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2