Parks & Recreation Commission Gives Community Center Update
Millbrae residents and community organizations were given a comprehensive update on the Community Center Rebuild Project at the Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting on February 21, 2017. A status report on the City’s actions since the fire was provided at the start of the meeting: the reopening of Central Park was the first key step of the rebuild project, which has since been accomplished. The next significant steps include demolition of the burned-out building, building an interim community center, and the selection of an architectural team.
“The demolition project is currently out to bid and bids will be opened March 2nd,” said Senior Project Manager Peter Ingram. “As for the interim building, the City Council awarded a contract at the February 28 Council meeting. The temporary modular building will house classes and programs until the new Community Center is completed.”
To ensure the meeting attendees’ complete understanding, Mr. Ingram outlined the progress made towards selecting an architect for this project. The City issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for architectural design and planning services on January 6, receiving nine statements of qualifications (SOQs). The goal is to select a firm that can develop a rebuild master plan, facility programming, cost estimates, and funding options based on the community’s wants and needs. These deliverables will include schematic – or preliminary – design for the new Center, but will not move into final design until the City Council has made its decisions in the Fall of 2017.
On February 24, four of the nine architectural teams were interviewed. Mayor Reuben Holober, Vice Mayor Gina Papan, and Chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission Chris Del Nagro were members of the City’s selection committee. The teams were ranked based on their qualifications, experience, project management capabilities, consultants’ quality of work, demonstrated community engagement ability, and financial responsibility. The staff will complete the process of negotiating a contract with the top-ranked firm and plans to have the City Council consider awarding a contract on March 28.
The purpose of the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting was to both inform and foster an ongoing dialogue with the Millbrae community and its leaders. Highlights from the discussion included a strong interest in collaborating with school districts and other key organizations to create a space that fulfills a variety of needs within the community. The rebuilding of the Community Center offers an excellent opportunity for growth and partnership throughout the City, and community members expressed their hope that they would see “real ownership” from the City’s project team for a successful new facility.
“The community’s feedback has been an enormous help throughout this process,” said Mayor Holober. “The Community Center needs to be just that: a space that meets all the needs and goals of its community. We are committed to making sure the project is a resounding success.”
Once the architect is selected for this project, the Commission will coordinate with the new team members to develop the rebuild master plan. The work plan will include analysis of possible uses of the new facility, exploration of partnerships, and incorporating community preferences. Simultaneously, the Commission will work closely with City staff and the architectural team to produce cost analyses throughout the process and make recommendations to support policy decisions. This process will ultimately produce a “Preferred Plan” for the rebuild, which will then be presented to the City Council in the Fall of 2017.