uc_color_logo.jpgSingers, dancers and a reality show contestant are appearing this afternoon at a community celebration of the groundbreaking on a new medical center in San Francisco set to open in 2014.

The $1.5 billion project will create a medical center for the University of California at San Francisco in the city’s Mission Bay neighborhood.

The center, which will be located at the UCSF campus near Third and 16th streets, will serve women, children and cancer patients. The complex will include a 183-bed hospital for children and a 70-bed hospital for adult cancer patients.

More than $375 million has been raised from philanthropic and private donations, filling out more than half of the university’s $600 million fundraising campaign, university officials said. The rest of the funding is coming from hospital reserves and debt financing.

Not everyone is happy about the medical center project.

A group of construction workers planned to protest today’s event after protesting a private groundbreaking for the center on Tuesday that was attended by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The group, Aboriginal Blackmen United, claims the project is not doing its part to hire local San Francisco residents in need of jobs.

“We have qualified union workers standing outside the job site that are ready, willing, and able to work,” ABU President James Richards said in a statement.

Today’s community celebration scheduled to start at 1 p.m. at the UCSF Mission Bay campus. Featured performances include Indian jazz, belly dancing, and performances by cellists and guitarists.

Yigit Pura, a competitor on BRAVO television network’s “Top Chef: Just Desserts” reality show will also give a cooking demonstration.

Saul Sugarman, Bay City News

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