Community Center Update

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With the loss of the Community Center, the City of Millbrae has embarked on the task of rebuilding a new center with your help and support. The Center was integral to the community and the City welcomes input from residents and community members on the rebuild process. 

Millbrae residents who missed May's Community Center Workshop have the opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts with the planning and design team by filling out an online survey. The survey can be accessed at https://www.surveylegend.com/s/anl

Please visit this site regularly to see announcements on upcoming community meetings, and updates on the development of the new Community Center.

Comments and questions can be submitted via e-mail to communitycenter@ci.millbrae.ca.us (please reference “Community Center Rebuild” in the subject line), or by calling the project hotline at 650-259-2310. 

Community Center Update

Updated on 05/18/2017 11:39 AM

Community Center News and Announcements

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Future Millbrae Community Center Workshop Focuses on Cohesive Use - May 18, 2017

Open spaces, multi-use rooms and access were all major topics of discussion on Tuesday night at the interactive workshop for the future Millbrae Community Center. More than 30 Millbrae residents participated in the two-hour event, sharing their ideas on what amenities and services they thought should be included at the new Community Center.

“It’s not just about the Community Center,” said one participant. “Taylor Middle School students walk through the property and Central Park. We need to account for when they go to school and get out because it impacts how and when we will use the Community Center.”

Early in the discussion, several participants noted that there needs to be improved access for pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles at the new Community Center. Workshop facilitators then drew out potential access points and thoroughfares around a site map of the Community Center site, Central Park and the surrounding area.

While several participants noted which streets become jammed and during what times, others focused on the need to better incorporate Central Park into the new Community Center.

“We need to make sure we preserve the limited open space and green fields we do have,” said one participant. “The new Community Center needs to incorporate Central Park, and it needs to be easily accessible so it can be used for large formal and informal events.”

Outdoor activities and recreation areas drew much attention during the discussion. Dawn Merkes, a principal at Group 4 Architecture, noted that “outdoor activities and programs like summer camps, performing arts events, movies in the park, and outdoor fitness are highly desired in Millbrae. Making the new Community Center cohesive indoors and outdoors will be a key point of success for this project.”

Workshop facilitators from Group 4 acknowledged that the goal at the end of this process is to combine everyone’s ideas and desires, and present the City Council with a cohesive Community Center Master Plan. They also noted that while not everything everyone wants will be in the final plan, they will be creative in efficiently using the space to create an attractive and flexible facility.

“From what we have heard so far, the future Millbrae Community Center needs to offer a variety of amenities and services for everyone to use and enjoy. Our goal is to focus and combine those ideas into a community center that everyone in Millbrae - men and women, young and old – will enjoy and use,” said Andrea Gifford, a principal at Group 4 Architecture. “To give Millbrae the Community Center it wants and deserves though, we need everyone who has a vested interest in this project to participate in the planning process.”

Millbrae residents who missed Tuesday night’s workshop have the opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts with the planning and design team by filling out an online survey. The survey can be accessed at https://www.surveylegend.com/s/anl. To learn more about the new Millbrae Community Center, and to sign-up for e-mail updates on the project, please visit http://www.ci.millbrae.ca.us/communitycenterupdate

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Share your thoughts and ideas on the future Millbrae Community Center - May 16, 2017

Millbrae residents have an opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts on what the future Millbrae Community Center should look like by filling out our online survey.

Click on the link below to access the Millbrae Community Center Survey:
https://www.surveylegend.com/s/anl 

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 Millbrae Community Center Public Meetings Announcement

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Construction Notice - April 12, 2017

Community Center Demolition - Traffic Around Your Neighborhood May Be Affected 

Dear Millbrae Resident:

The City of Millbrae has contracted with Asbestos Management Group to begin demolition of the fire-damaged Millbrae Community Center located at 477 Lincoln Circle.

The demolition of the Millbrae Community Center is expected to begin the week of April 17th, weather permitting.  The demolition work will last about four (4) weeks.  The work is expected to be complete by mid-May.

The contractor will use the Laurel Avenue parking lot adjacent to the Community Center for equipment staging and crew parking.  Trucks (four to six daily at peak activity) will travel on Lincoln Circle and Richmond Drive and use the public parking lot adjacent to the tennis courts for turn-around.

We will do our best to minimize disruption to the neighborhood during this process. 

We greatly appreciate your cooperation and thank you for your patience as we continue to improve the community.

As with all construction projects, please expect intermittent traffic delay.  Please pay special attention to traffic control personnel and respect all construction warning signs.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at (650) 259-2339. 

Thank you.

April 12th 2017 Construction Notice

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Community Center Update – March 31, 2017

Dear Millbrae Neighbors,

On Tuesday night, the Millbrae City Council approved a contract with Group 4 Architecture of South San Francisco to provide a comprehensive master plan for the future Millbrae Community Center. Through this first phase process, Group 4 will host a series of meetings to gather input from the community, community leaders, project stakeholders, and the City Council to develop a needs assessment and preferred plan for rebuilding the Community Center.

Group 4 was selected above numerous other applicants because of its depth of experience in working on projects similar to this, and their understanding of the need to work cooperatively with the community to create a facility that all will enjoy. Over the next seven months, Group 4 will be able to tell us what options are available to us in developing the Community Center, what different project options could cost, what our funding opportunities are, and what we can reasonably expect to build.

While Group 4 has been selected to develop the Community Center preferred preliminary plan, their work on phase two (final building design) and phase three (construction documents and services) of this project is not guaranteed by the Council’s action. At the end of the first phase, the City has the option to select a different project architect if the Council determines that their services were not adequate or their proposal for next phases do not meet our needs or expectations.

Insurance Settlement

Negotiations between the City and the insurance carriers to determine a final claim settlement are ongoing. The insurance carriers have advanced us approximately $3,700,000 in partial payments to facilitate the City’s recovery from the fire. In the short term, these funds will be used to cover the cost of the master planning effort, the temporary Community Center, and the demolition of the existing facility.  At Tuesday night’s meeting, the City Council approved a portion of the insurance advance to be used for the project.

Central Park Street Parking

Last week, the City sent out a letter and placed door hangers on the homes of residents who live around Central Park. In the letter, we stated that parking around Central Park and along Palm Avenue would be changed to two hour limits to make way for demolition and construction work at the Community Center site.

Unfortunately, there was a communication breakdown between our Public Works Department, the Recreation Department, and the residents who live around Central Park. We want to apologize for this miscommunication and the confusion it has caused. We want to assure you that no changes in parking will be made at this time.

The original concern that we are trying to address is accommodating summertime Central Park users who will not be able to use the Laurel Ave. parking lot when demolition and reconstruction of the Community Center is under way. If a family or large group is having a picnic gathering, we want them to be able to load/unload within a reasonable distance. Going forward, we have directed staff to broaden their thinking and bring parking change options back to the Council. This will only take place after staff has engaged nearby residents, and parking impacts are understood and minimized.

Public Engagement and Communications

Over the next seven months, Group 4 Architecture will facilitate several workshops and public meetings at various times and dates to get as much public input as possible for the development of the future Community Center.  We want to encourage everyone to participate in these meetings and workshops. The more people who participate, the better the new Community Center will reflect the needs and wants of our community.

In early April, the final schedule for future workshops and meeting dates, times and locations will be finalized. These will be posted on the City’s website (www.ci.millbrae.ca.us), through its social media pages, and through MCTV.  We will also be sending out a citywide postcard that will give you all the information you need to actively engage in this exciting community work.

In the meantime, comments and questions related to the Community Center can be submitted via e-mail to communitycenter@ci.millbrae.ca.us (please reference “Community Center Rebuild” in the subject line), or by calling the project hotline at 650-259-2310. The Millbrae Community Foundation continues to collect donations to help support recovery and rebuild efforts. To make a donation, please visit: www.millbraefoundation.org.    

This entire process has taken a long time, but it has been to ensure the City gets a fair claim settlement from our insurance providers, and to find a master plan architect who is the right fit for Millbrae. While there have been some setbacks, everyone in City Hall is being proactive to ensure the Community Center is built right, and will be right for the people of Millbrae.

As always, we appreciate your patience with this process, and your dedication to this project.

Sincerely,

The Community Center Sub-Committee

Reuben Holober, Mayor  

Gina Papan, Vice Mayor

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Parks and Recreation Commission Gives Community Center Update – March 2, 2017

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.

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Presentation – Parks and Recreation Commission, February 21, 2017

On February 21st, the Parks and Recreation Commission had their monthly meeting, where they discussed the Community Center Rebuild project. Click/tap on the image or text below for a copy of the presentation that was discussed at the meeting.

P&R Comm 2017-02-21

Presentation - Parks & Recreation Commission, February 21, 2017

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Community Center Update – January 27, 2017

Dear Millbrae Neighbors,

With remediation work at Central Park complete and the installation of a temporary fence around the fire site, we are now underway in getting the Community Center building demolished and cleaned in preparation for its development.

Site Remediation and Demolition

Last month, Kellco Services was hired to do comprehensive hazardous materials testing inside the Community Center building in preparation for demolition. That work is well underway and a set of demolition and abatement specifications are expected to be given to the City by the end of the month. We are working closely with Kellco to ensure the site is clean and appropriately prepared to ensure dust and debris from the demolition work at the site does not impact surrounding neighbors.

In the coming weeks, the City will issue a call for bids for demolition work. Following that, City staff will review bids and recommend award of a demolition contract by the City Council in March. This process may seem lengthy, but we are required by law to give appropriate public notice of the contract, and thoroughly review bids to ensure they will comply with health and safety regulations, and perform the work to our specifications. We have set a firm goal to have the entire Community Center building demolished and prepared for construction by late April.

Prior to demolition, the City’s Public Works Department will be inspecting the site to create a list of resources and materials that may be salvageable. This includes the gazebo and HVAC equipment that was not damaged by the fire. While the insurance coverage the City has on the Community Center was the best available, and will cover the costs to rebuild the Center in “as was” condition, we want to save whatever materials and resources possible.

Insurance Settlement

This has been one of the most tedious parts of this process, but we are close to reaching a fair settlement with the insurance adjusters. As noted, the City had the best fire insurance available on the Community Center. Because insurance providers do not offer municipal governments fire insurance for future costs and values, the best possible insurance was coverage that paid to rebuild the Community Center in “as was” condition, as well as paying for incurred administrative costs.

Through our discussions with the claims adjusters and legal counsel, we hope to have an agreed upon settlement next month. The main crux in this negotiation has been what each party, the City and the insurance providers, think a fair settlement in “as was” condition amounts to. To help inform the discussions, the City retained peer reviewer engineering and construction estimation consultants. While we could have settled at a much lower payout earlier in the process, we need to ensure the City gets a fair settlement.

Rebuild Planning

On January 6th, a request for qualifications (RFQ) was issued by the City for architectural design and planning services. The purpose of this RFQ is to elicit proposals from several firms and select a service provider who can best conduct a creative public input process, create rebuild plan and cost options, and eventually design the new Center. While the RFQ was sent to three targeted firms that have performed similar work in neighboring cities, it was also made available to local firms through the City’s website, the A/E Consultants Information Network, and the American Institute of Architects’ San Francisco Chapter. The full RFQ can be found by clicking here.

This RFQ was not created to select an official design of the new Community Center. This first step is to select a firm that can develop a rebuild master plan and cost estimates based on our wants and needs. We will continue to work with the entire Millbrae community to decide what amenities, concepts and design elements will be included in the final Community Center blueprint. After that, the firm will provide design proposals, which we will be able to modify or request alternatives to. We expect to select an architectural and planning service provider by the end of March.

Public Engagement and Communications

The Parks and Recreation Commission and City Council will be hosting several meetings at various times and dates to get as much public input as possible for the development of the future Community Center.  The Parks and Recreation Commission will be holding its next meeting on February 21st to get public input. City staff will post future meeting updates, dates and times on the City’s website (www.ci.millbrae.ca.us), Facebook page, and through MCTV. 

In the meantime, the Millbrae Community Foundation continues to collect donations to help support recovery and rebuild efforts. To make a donation, please visit: www.millbraefoundation.org.    

Continuing Park & Recreation Services - Interim Space

We are currently in the process of procuring modular buildings and setting up a rental agreement with local landowners to develop a site to house recreation staff, set-up a public reception and business counter, and provide flexible rooms for meetings and events. This is in addition to the temporary facilities and spaces that have already been provided throughout the City since the fire. While the procurement process for the modular buildings is relatively straight forward, we are still in exploratory discussions with local landowners to settle upon agreeable use terms and conditions.

Our goal is to ensure the new Parks and Recreation space meets all our needs and is easily accessible to the community. As we expect this site to be in operation for more than two years, finding the right site and settling upon space and parking requirements is a challenge. We are confident the right site and terms of use will be found, and have not changed our move-in goal of mid-April.

We understand the sentiment of many community members who are concerned about the amount of time this entire process has taken. We want you to know that everyone in City Hall is truly doing their due diligence to ensure this is done right. Doing it right means the fire site can be demolished without causing harm to nearby residents, the City gets a fair insurance settlement, and that we create a space that will be used and enjoyed by all.

As always, we appreciate your patience with this process, and dedication to this project.

Sincerely,

The Community Center Sub-Committee

Reuben Holober, Mayor  

Gina Papan, Vice Mayor

 

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City of Millbrae – Community Center Rebuild Project

Public Health & Safety, Central Park Re-Opening

January 2017

The purpose of this report is to verify the status of the soils around the burnt-out Community Center building and provide a laypersons’ summary of the soils testing that was carried out by a specialized company following the fire of July 21, 2016.  The full report by Forensic Analytical Consulting Services (FACS) is attached, along with a site map for readers’ reference.

In the hours and days following the Community Center fire, the City’s staff and its insurance carriers immediately implemented current and best practices for protecting citizens from any potentially hazardous substances that were created by the fire itself and/or by the suppression of the fire.  Not surprisingly, the amount of water used to fight the fire created surface runoff around the perimeter of the building and in adjacent landscape areas.  The entire park was immediately closed and fenced so that the Fire Department could complete its post-fire investigation and the initial site “mop-up” could be done.  At that time the City requested that soils tests be performed before any portion of the park was re-opened.  On August 12, 2016, FACS collected samples from several locations around the building and adjacent park areas.  An accredited laboratory analyzed those samples and the results returned to FACS.  The analysis presented in the attached FACS report fall into three categories of potentially harmful substances:

  • Asbestos
  • Heavy metals
  • Volatile organic compounds

The findings were that no concentrated levels of any of the substances of concern exceeded federal EPA thresholds, with the exception of two sample locations, which showed elevated levels:

  1. Lawn area in front of the building, near the street entry
  2. Lawn area to the immediate east of the building

Both positive test locations are inside the re-aligned, temporary construction fence, and therefore no exposure to the public will occur.

In the case of sample location No. 4 – the wood chips under the playground, the City has recently removed all the chips, cleaned the play equipment, and installed new mulch, even though the test results were negative.

In summary, the City has determined, based on scientific forensic data, that the re-opened portions of Central Park are free of health and safety risks related to the fire.  During the demolition and re-building of the Community Center, all state and federal regulations for the identification, handling, removal, hauling, and disposal of potentially hazardous materials inside the construction fencing will be followed to the highest standards, such that current park users and future Community Center visitors will enjoy a healthy and safe environment.

To view the FACS Soil Results Report, please click here:

http://www.ci.millbrae.ca.us/Home/ShowDocument?id=10460

To view the locations of the Central Park soil samples, please click here:

http://www.ci.millbrae.ca.us/Home/ShowDocument?id=10458

 

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Community Center and Central Park Update - December 22, 2016

Dear Millbrae Neighbors,

Happy Holidays!

Central Park is open for play and recreation. As previously reported, fully restoring access to the main field areas, playground, and tennis courts will require additional steps in the near-future due to safety issues related to the demolition of the structures and old foundation.

Meanwhile, we are making progress with steps toward a new community center:

  • A smaller construction fence enclosure has been installed around the Community Center building for the demolition and construction phases ahead. This fence currently cuts off a portion of the western pathway loop, but that is only temporary until a contractor is hired to install a fence along the eastern side of the construction zone that will protect park users from harm. Staff is working diligently to move the fence line closer to the building and re-open the path loop as soon as possible.
  • To increase parking for park users, a 2-hour time limit will be added to the southern side of Lincoln Circle and the west side of Palm Avenue along the park frontage to free up convenient parking spaces. The new restrictions will not apply to overnight parking and only applies to the curbs adjacent to Central Park. In addition, there will be new handicap parking spaces added.
  • Staff will be working with the Parks & Recreation Commission in the new year to address other Central Park concerns, such as temporary restrooms during the rebuilding period.

Interim Recreation Facilities To Ensure Community Needs Are Met ASAP:

In addition to the temporary facilities and spaces that so many in our community have helped provide since the fire, staff is preparing a plan to use the Civic Center area to house recreation staff, a public reception and business counter, and flexible rooms for meetings, classes, and program events. Watch for announcements and additional information on this in early January 2017.

Demolition In April 2017

Bid documents are being prepared, and a call for bids will be issued in 2017 to demolish the burned Community Center. The City’s advisors have determined that a regulatory compliance survey of the burnt-out building must be completed and documented before the call for bids is distributed. This survey ensures that we have met all federal pre-demolition requirements, and is driven by the need for proper handling and disposal of fire debris. Completion of the compliance survey will push the previous goal of bidding out the demolition work and getting the City Council to award a contract from the end of February to mid-March. However, we still hope to complete the demolition in April. Those interested in bidding for this project should visit the City’s website (www.ci.millbrae.ca.us).

Insurance Claim & New Building Financing

The City’s project team expects to make recommendations on a settlement for the restoration of the building and furnishings in the first quarter of 2017. As the final amount of the settlement comes into focus, staff will begin working with the Community Center Sub-Committee and other stakeholders on a design and funding plan for the new Community Center.

Public Engagement and Communications

The Parks and Recreation Commission will be hosting several meetings at various times and dates to get as much public input as possible for the development of the future Community Center. City staff will be posting meeting updates, dates and times on the City’s website (www.ci.millbrae.ca.us), and Facebook. 

In the meantime, the Millbrae Community Foundation continues to collect donations to help support recovery and rebuild efforts. To make a donation, please visit: https://www.millbraefoundation.org/.

We wish you and your families the very best for a safe and happy holiday season.

Sincerely,

The Community Center Sub-Committee

Gina Papan, Vice Mayor

Wayne Lee, Council Member

 

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Central Park is Now Open - December 9, 2016

    Dear Neighbors,

    Central Park's main field area, the play structure and the tennis courts are now open!

    We appreciate your patience in this process. Many people have asked what took so long, and the short answer is that the recovery planning, testing, inspection, and insurance carrier assessments had to be done before electricity could be reconnected. This all had to be accomplished before the temporary fencing could be removed. 

    While the fencing has been removed from around most of Central Park, the Community Center site remains enclosed with construction fencing, some of which overlaps the path around the west side of the park. There will be further adjustments to this side as the City moves closer to demolition of the burnt-out building. In the interim, the health and safety of our community park users is the top priority.

    Again, we appreciate your patience throughout the recovery process, and are happy to announce the re-opening of Central Park.

     

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    Community Center and Central Park Update - December 2, 2016

      Dear Fellow Millbrae Neighbors,

      The majority of Central Park is close to re-opening, and the City’s team is making good progress with the insurance carriers to settle on an agreed amount for the restoration of the building and furnishings. In addition, the City Council has approved a project management agreement designed to actively and quickly move the community toward a decision on how to design, finance, and rebuild the Community Center. The goal is to rapidly and thoughtfully arrive at these critical decisions over the next nine months.

      Please see the attached summary for more details.

      Park Restoration

      City staff has compiled a final checklist for re-opening the majority of Central Park. In the next 10 days, once the security fencing is moved back, we expect the playground area, tennis courts, and open grass field to open for public use again.

      Other work being completed at the site includes:

      • PG&E crews reconnected power to portions of the park.
      • Crews are installing a smaller fenced enclosure around the Community Center building for the demolition and construction phases.
      • City staff is posting informational signs to help park users find access and parking, while the construction area fence is in place.
      • A 2-hour time limit will be added to the southern side of Lincoln Circle to turn over and free up parking spaces for the convenience of park users.

      Demolition

      The insurance carriers have confirmed that demolition of the burnt-out community center will be driven by the City’s decisions and bidding process. The work can proceed as soon as bid documents are compiled and a call for bids is issued. The goal is to bid out the demolition work so that the City Council can award a contract by the end of February.

      Building Financing

      City staff and the insurance carriers are in active ‘back-and-forth discussions’ to ensure that a potential claim settlement is fair and equitable to the City, and covers all our incurred costs. At a minimum, the insurance carriers will pay for all costs to replace the building in as was condition.

      Public Engagement and Communications

      The Parks and Recreation Commission will be hosting several meetings at various times and dates to get as much public input as possible for the development of the future community center. City staff will be posting meeting updates, dates and times on the City’s website (www.ci.millbrae.ca.us), Facebook page, and Nextdoor. 

      In the meantime, the Millbrae Community Foundation continues to collect donations to help support recovery and rebuild efforts. To make a donation, please visit: https://www.millbraefoundation.org/.

      We wish you and your families the very best for a safe and happy holiday season.

      Sincerely,

      The Community Center Sub-Committee

      Wayne Lee, Council Member

      Gina Papan, Council Member

       

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      Community Center and Central Park Update - November 7, 2016

        Dear Fellow Millbrae Neighbors,

        These past two weeks have seen some good progress in getting through a very long list of tasks to get Central Park reopened. It is frustrating for those of us looking in from outside of this detailed work, because it seems to be taking so long. Hopefully the information below will help park users appreciate the care and diligence that is needed to responsibly reopen a public space.

        Park Restoration

        When the Community Center was built, all of the electrical power for the building, and the entire park, was routed through a panel on the building. It was then distributed in underground conduits throughout the park. The fire severely damaged this system, so to get power restored to the tennis courts, parking lots, irrigation system, and the maintenance building, a new and separate electrical system had to be designed, approved, installed, and inspected, ahead of submitting a PG&E service request. But that work could not get under way until the City’s insurance carriers completed their damage assessments. The good news is that the final inspection of the new system was completed this past week, and the permit was approved. The next – and final – step is for PG&E to make the connection and test the system. As of today, the City has not received a schedule confirmation from PG&E but we are actively pushing for it.

        Turf rehabilitation is under way in the main field area, as are modifications to the irrigation system, so that a construction fence can be installed between the play area and the building. The restricted area will include a small portion of the main field - between the playground and the building - that will need some soil remediation before the rebuild project is completed. The estimated completion date for this part of the project is some time this month.

        The tennis courts have been cleaned and are ready for play.

        Soon, the playground equipment will be cleaned, and the fiber mulch surface underneath will be completely replaced to ensure that any contamination from the fire’s runoff is removed. This work will be accomplished by Parks staff, the City’s insurance carrier’s contractor, and a specialized supplier of the fiber mulch. We will also be looking at expanding the playground and updating the equipment in the future.

        After all this is completed, the temporary fencing can be removed from around Central Park’s main field.  We expect that the majority of Central Park can be re-opened for community use this month.

        Demolition

        As we’ve been reporting, getting the clearances to demolish the burned building is a high priority. This past week, our team has studied the best way to accomplish the job in a cost effective and environmentally responsible way, and in full compliance with the many applicable laws and regulations. There are still issues to be resolved such that the approach and method to this task are in the City’s best interests, but we are making steady progress.

        Building Financing

        Staff and the City’s insurance carrier have moved into the phase of reviewing building replacement construction estimates. Over the next few weeks, we expect a lot of back-and-forth as the City’s due-diligence team analyzes the numbers to ensure that a potential claim settlement is fair and equitable.

        In the meantime, the Millbrae Community Foundation continues to collect donations to help support recovery and rebuild efforts. To make a donation, please visit: https://www.millbraefoundation.org/.

        Restoration of Senior and Recreational Services

        We have narrowed down the options for semi-permanent spaces to house programs and services for the duration of the rebuilding effort. Within the next few weeks, we should have our preferred plan in place and be able to execute it relatively quickly.

        During this entire process, we have worked with the community in recovering from the fire. We continue to ask that you be patient and stay involved in the rebuild process. We are working diligently to get Central Park and all other programs and services up and running as quickly as possible. Thank you for your support and involvement in the rebuild effort.

        Sincerely,

        The Community Center Sub-Committee

        Wayne Lee, Council Member

        Gina Papan, Council Member

         

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        Community Center and Central Park Update - October 18, 2016

          Dear Fellow Millbrae Neighbors,

          Since our last update, the City has continued to advance its work in the community center fire recovery. This week the City will make more decisions on interim spaces to accommodate program and staff services. Also, we will begin discussing the schedule to start the rebuilding process with our insurance carrier and adjusters.

          Park Restoration

          Our highest near-term priority is the restoration of electricity to Central Park. We are working with the insurance carrier, contractors and Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to restore power to Central Park. As soon as power is restored, the irrigation system can be used to water the trees and we can make progress on re-opening the tennis courts.

          We expect that the majority of Central Park will be re-opened for community use in November. By then, we expect to have the go-ahead to demolish the remains of the building and have the security fence pulled in closer to the building’s perimeter. 

          Building Financing

          Staff and the City’s insurance carrier met last week to review progress and determine next steps to arrive at the cost to replace the building, its contents, and the disruption to City services and revenues.  We are encouraged by the insurance carrier’s attention to detail and the respectful approach by the large team of specialists assigned to the claim.

          Restoration of Senior and Recreational Services

          We are setting up semi-permanent spaces to house programs and services for the duration of the rebuilding effort. We have confirmed that our insurance will cover the costs to set up and operate space near Central Park and the Civic Center to house many of the activities that occurred at the Community Center.

          The City has hired a project manager whose sole focus will be the rebuilding of the Community Center.  He has quickly gotten up to speed on the many moving parts and is already well integrated into the team at City Hall. Through his work, we are pivoting away from recovery (although that effort will carry forward as well) and into the rebuilding process. By the end of the month, a rebuilding schedule will be made available for viewing.

          How You Can Help

          The Millbrae Community Foundation continues to collect donations to help support recovery and rebuild efforts. To make a donation, please visit: www.millbraefoundation.org.

          A 5K fun run fundraiser for the community center, sponsored by the City of Millbrae, Millbrae Rotary Club, Interacts, and other donors, will be held on October 29, 2016. Please visit www.5krunformillbrae.com to register or get more information.

          During this entire process, we have worked with the community in recovering from the fire. We continue to ask that you be patient and stay involved in the rebuilding process. We are working diligently to get Central Park, the tennis courts, and all other programs and services up and running as quickly as possible. Thank you for your support and involvement in the rebuilding effort.

          Sincerely,

          The Community Center Sub-Committee

          Wayne Lee, Council Member

          Gina Papan, Council Member

           

          _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

          Community Center and Central Park Update - October 3, 2016

            Dear Fellow Millbrae Neighbors,

            It’s been a little over two months since we lost our community center to a fire. Since that day, Millbrae officials and staff have worked diligently to restore the City’s parks and recreation programs and services. The good news is, we’re making good progress and well into that recovery. We have identified several location options for programs and staff services, and are working with our insurance company to start the rebuilding process.

            Park Restoration

            Restoring electricity to the park and affirming that the electrical system (except for the community center itself) is safe is the highest priority right now.  PG&E crews have been working on the site over the past several weeks, and we expect this work to finish in early October. As soon as the power is restored, the irrigation system can be used to water the Park trees, which need watering but are still in good condition.

            We expect that the majority of Central Park can be re-opened for community use in November. By then, we anticipate that a final determination to demolish the remains of the building will have been made and the security fence pulled in closer to the building’s perimeter.

            Building Financing

            Staff and the City’s insurance carrier continue to work together to determine the cost replacement of the building, its contents, and the disruption to City services and revenues.

            Restoration of Senior and Recreational Services

            The recreation staff, with great cooperation from the community and neighboring cities moved, relocated, and made arrangements for over 100 of the classes, contractors, and rentals that used the community center and central park.  Highlighted programs and their relocation status:

            • Recreation staff compiled a list of meeting locations;
            • Specialty camps were held at Shea Center through the end of August;
            • Brown Bag and Bread Day moved to Constitution Plaza of City Hall;
            • Tennis courts at Mills High School will be open for play on weekends (Thanks to the high school district).

            Rebuilding a state of the art community center is our core objective. At the community meeting on August 8th, we celebrated the impact of the community center, answered questions, and received many great ideas for a new state of the art center. Rebuilding the center will take time, and we will use that time to ensure that a thoughtful process will result in a cost effective community center that will serve as many purposes and needs for the community.  A project schedule will be out in October.

            We appreciate the Millbrae community involvement and interest in the entire process. We will continue to provide you with regular updates so that we can rebuild our community center together. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we go through the necessary steps to remediate the site, and start the physical rebuilding process.

            Sincerely,

            The Community Center Sub-Committee

            Wayne Lee, Council Member

            Gina Papan, Council Member

             

            _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

            Millbrae Community Center Fire Update - August 24, 2016

              Dear Millbrae Residents,

              Structural engineers are surveying the Community Center to assess if it can be saved. If the engineers determine that the building cannot be saved, it will be demolished. If this is the case, City staff anticipates the site will be cleared before winter.

              In addition, Central Park, the site playground, tennis courts, and parking lot will remain closed. We expect a report within the next 10 days that tells us what, if anything, needs to be done to reopen these facilities for use as soon as possible.

              On Monday, August 8, the City hosted a community meeting to listen to ideas from you of what the Community Center would look like after it’s rebuilt. During that meeting, several questions came up about costs and reimbursement from the Center’s insurance coverage. 

              The City’s insurance policy reimburses for the Community Center replacement in an “as-was condition.” Specifically, it is the cost to replace the building with the exact same square footage, layout, fixtures and furnishings. In addition, the City will receive a reimbursement amount equal to the costs to bring the building up to the current building code requirements, e.g. ADA accessibility, sprinklers, etc. The City will also be reimbursed for the cost of replacing the lost items inside the Center, including desks, chairs and other office assets.

              The process to arrive at the amount of the “as-was condition” reimbursement involves a review of the original blueprints of the building. A set of the original blueprints from 1970, along with the building expansion in 1982 for the senior wing, have been located and scanned. The City has hired a construction cost estimator to review cost estimates, and challenge the estimates if necessary.

              The City’s Recreation staff, with great cooperation from the community, has made arrangements for over 100 classes, contractors, and rentals that were scheduled to use the Community Center and Central Park to be relocated. A handful of programs do not yet have confirmed locations, but are expected to have new sites before the start of classes.

              Fall recreation and youth sports programs have been relocated to school sites, facilities with other cities (e.g. tennis classes to Burlingame city courts), the Chetcuti Community Room, the Millbrae Library, and the Millbrae Community Youth Center (MCYC). A top priority for City staff is relocating the Tiny Tots program before its scheduled opening on September 12.

              Below is a list of other programs and their relocation status:

              • Monthly senior lunches have been relocated to Magnolia of Millbrae
              • Senior Advisory Committee meetings have been relocated to Magnolia of Millbrae
              • Park and Recreation Commission meetings will be held in the Chetcuti Community Room
              • The Fun Club and other specialty camps’ last day at the Shea Center was Friday, August 19
              • Brown Bag and Bread & Pastry Sales have successfully moved to Constitution Square in front of City Hall

              At this time, in addition to working on clean-up and remediation efforts, we are working with Recreation staff to review and analyze program capabilities and services for the immediate future. 3,000 to 5,000 square feet of auditorium and classroom space is needed to meet current program requirements. While the Millbrae School District has been extremely helpful in temporarily supporting classes and programs, the City needs to negotiate use and fee rates for the long-term use of the District’s facilities.

              This is all the information we have available at this time. Future updates will be distributed in a similar format as they are confirmed. Additional questions regarding the Millbrae Community Center, Central Park, and Recreation programs and services can be asked by emailing:  recreation@ci.millbrae.ca.us

              Millbrae residents who wish to provide input into the community center rebuild discussion can do so by submitting their comments at: www.millbrae2040.com/community center. This rebuild is a community effort and your input is appreciated and essential to building a community center that will host multiple events, programs, and activities.

              The Millbrae Community Foundation is collecting donations from anyone wishing to help contribute to the rebuilding of the new community center. www.millbraefoundation.org

              Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we work expeditiously to clean the Community Center site and the areas impacted by the fire. We welcome your continued input and dialogue as we work to rebuild this valued community landmark.

              Sincerely,

              Gina Papan, Council Member

              Wayne J. Lee, Council Member

              Community Center Sub-Committee

               

              _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

              Future of Millbrae Community Center Discussed at Monday Meeting - August 9, 2016

                On Monday evening, more than 100 people attended a special meeting at City Hall to share their ideas on what amenities and services Millbrae’s next community center should have following the fire that destroyed the former facility.

                “Even though the pain of losing the community center is still fresh, we have an opportunity to build a new community center that better meets our current and future needs,” said Millbrae Mayor Anne Oliva. “Tonight’s meeting is an important step in the rebuilding process, and will be one of many opportunities for the community to help guide the vision towards a new center we can all be proud of.”

                A pool. More amenities for children and teens. Better activities for seniors. A garden. A gym. These were a few of more than 50 ideas shared by attendees on what they would like to see at the next community center.

                “There isn’t a place for our teens to hang out at,” said one resident attending the meeting. “Hanging out at McDonald’s or Walgreens shouldn’t be their only options. We need a safe and good place for our teens to hang out at in the evenings and on the weekends.”

                “I know this is a wish list and could get expensive, but I think we need a pool and gym,” said another resident.

                “I would like an ice skating rink,” said one resident “We have an active hockey, figure skating, and curling community here in Millbrae. We could be a city that supports and trains future Olympians.”

                While the cost to provide all the suggested amenities did come up, Mayor Oliva and Council Member Wayne Lee pointed out that this meeting was a brainstorming session, and that the purpose was to collect ideas. Funding requirements and costs will be discussed at future planning meetings.

                Millbrae residents who were unable to attend the meeting and wish to provide input into the community center rebuild discussion can do so by submitting their comments at: www.millbrae2040.com.

                The complete community meeting can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/user/MillbraeMCTV/videos.

                The Millbrae Community Foundation is collecting donations from anyone wishing to help contribute to the rebuilding of the new community center. www.millbraefoundation.org.

                 

                _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

                Millbrae Hosts Community Center Recovery Meeting - August 5, 2016

                  On Monday, Millbrae residents and city officials will join in a special Community Center Recovery Meeting, starting the process to rebuild the Center in the wake of a fire that completely destroyed the building two weeks ago. Starting at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall, Millbrae Mayor Anne Oliva will lead attendees in an open discussion on qualities that made the old Community Center great, and seek input on what amenities and services they would like to see in a new facility.

                  “Even though the pain of losing the community center is still fresh, we have an opportunity to build a new community center that better meets our current and future needs,” said Millbrae Mayor Anne Oliva. “Monday’s meeting is an important step in the rebuilding process, and will be one of many opportunities for the community to help guide the vision towards a new center we can all be proud of.”

                   

                  WHO:

                  Millbrae Mayor Anne Oliva

                  More than 50 residents are expected to attend

                   

                  WHAT:

                  The City of Millbrae is hosting an open-to-the-public community meeting to discuss next steps in rebuilding its community center in the wake of a fire that completely destroyed the building

                   

                  WHEN:

                  Monday, August 8, 2016

                  Starting at 6:30 p.m.

                  Concluding at 8:30 p.m.

                   

                  WHERE:

                  Millbrae City Hall

                  621 Magnolia Avenue

                  Millbrae, CA 94030

                   

                  _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

                  Two Arrests Made in Millbrae Community Center Fire - July 25, 2016

                    On Monday, July 25, the City of Millbrae, Central County Fire Department, and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department announced that two minors have been arrested on charges of arson related to the Millbrae Community Center fire last week.

                    “I am thankful for the hard work and diligence of fire investigators at Central County Fire and detectives at the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department,” said Millbrae Mayor Anne Oliva. “At this time, I ask that we hold back judgement until all the investigation is complete, and all the details and evidence emerge.”

                    According to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department, during interrogations, the two boys gave enough information to make detectives comfortable in making the arrests.

                    “At this stage of the investigation, the evidence gathered suggests that the juveniles did not intend to deliberately set the community center on fire and suggests a foolish act of reckless behavior," said Detective Salvador Zuno, Public Information Officer for the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department.

                    While no one was hurt in the fire, the damage and loss of the Community Center is expected to cost more than $2 million to completely repair. In the meantime, programs and events that were scheduled to take place at the Community Center have been temporarily put on hold or relocated to alternative sites.

                    “We all know setbacks like these happen, but that doesn’t make them hurt any less,” said Mayor Oliva. “Together, we will decide on the best path to build a new community center. Even though it hurts, we have an opportunity to start fresh, and build a facility that better meets our needs.”

                    The City of Millbrae will be hosting a community meeting at City Hall on August 8th at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the history and future vision of the community center. Millbrae residents are encouraged to attend and give their input on the development of the future center.

                    Currently, the Millbrae Community Foundation is accepting donations to help facilitate the relocation of programs and help with the reconstruction.

                    The complete press conference can be watched on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NxWOeLxHpY.

                     

                    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

                    Letter from the Millbrae City Council

                    Re: Support in Aftermath of Millbrae Community Center Fire

                    July 22, 2016

                      Dear Friends and Neighbors,

                      As many of you know, we lost our precious community center to a fire yesterday morning.

                      First, we want to thank the brave men and women of the Central County Fire Department for extinguishing the fire, and doing their best to save the building. While the building was completely destroyed, we are grateful the fire was contained and no one was injured in the response.

                      Since then, hundreds of residents, business owners and other government agencies from throughout the Bay Area have stepped up and offered to help facilitate events and programs that were displaced due to the loss. Of particular note, we want to thank the Millbrae School District for immediately offering the use of their facilities for the Youth Summer Camp.

                      We cannot express enough the gratitude we have for everyone who has given us the support and hope we need to get through this loss. We are truly blessed and humbled by their generosity, and thankful that we are surrounded by such good people.

                      From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

                      Sincerely,

                      Anne Oliver, Mayor

                      Reuben D. Holober, Vice Mayor

                      Gina Papan, Council Member

                      Ann Schneider, Council Member

                      Wayne J. Lee, Council Member

                       

                      _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

                      UPDATE - Millbrae Community Center Fire - July 21, 2016

                        On Thursday, July 21, at 3:52 a.m., the Central County Fire Department was dispatched in response to a fire at the Millbrae Community Center located at 477 Lincoln Circle. At this time the fire has been contained, but all administrative and recreation services at the site have been temporarily suspended.

                        Anyone that is scheduled to attend meetings or events at the Center or Central Park is advised to stay away from the site as it’s an active fire scene. Millbrae Youth Camps have been moved to the Caroline Shea Center at Taylor Middle School (850 Taylor Boulevard, Millbrae, CA).

                         

                        *** Update – Thursday, July 21, at 12:20 p.m. ***

                        1 p.m. press conference with Central County Fire Chief John Kammeyer. Press conference will be held in the vicinity of the community center.

                        Tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., the Millbrae City Council will host a community awareness meeting to address the fire and next steps. It will be held at City Hall. Fire Chief Kammeyer will also speak during the meeting. 

                         

                        *** Update - Thursday, July 21, at 1:45 p.m. ***

                        Below is the link to the video recording of the press conference with Central County Fire Chief John Kammeyer.

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nbcp1Hu2_A