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Millbrae Community Center Update – April 2018

Post Date:04/16/2018 1:28 PM

Dear Millbrae Residents,

The Millbrae Community Center rebuild is well underway with Group 4 Architecture in the process of developing the conceptual design and environmental review for the new building. This progress marks a major milestone as the City Council and project team continue to take the positive steps to restore vital community and recreational services. While we are still more than a year away from the groundbreaking, we need the community’s continued support as we develop the concept and designs for the new building in the coming months.

Steps to Date

Late last year, Group 4 presented their recommendations to the City Council as the last step in the development of a comprehensive Master Plan Report. This Master Plan integrated the collective input from the community, city staff, the City Council, and other project stakeholders. It had several options for the City Council to consider for approval, ultimately leading them to decide on a Master Plan that included building a community center and gymnasium integrated into Central Park.

While the Master Plan was being finalized for adoption, the Council’s Community Center Rebuild Sub-Committee turned their attention to funding options and the prospects for a successful future ballot measure. This funding is necessary to fill the gap between the insurance settlement and the features the community requested in a new, modern Community Center. The Sub-Committee determined that a survey was needed to get further input from residents on how much revenue funding they would be willing to support to build a new Community Center everyone can all enjoy. 

Community Support

The survey found the majority of voters support a $25 million Community / Recreation Center Restoration bond or general sales tax. This amount, combined with the City’s insurance settlement and other funding already identified, will be used to restore the Community Center and its programs, paying for the initial phase of the project.

In January, the City Council approved phase one of the rebuild, which is a new Community Center. The new Community Center providing a 300 to 500-person capacity community space, and 61 parking spaces will be designed to provide space for a variety of programs including senior health and fitness programs, youth athletics, pre-school and after-school programs, as well as special community events. Phase one is estimated to cost $25 million to $33 million and does not include the gymnasium or redeveloped Central Park.

The City is exploring a variety of funding options including public-private partnerships, community and corporate sponsorships, and revenue enhancements such as general obligation bonds. These funds, in addition to the $6.2 million insurance settlement, will be used to design and build the new Community Center.

As the Community Center is rebuilt, the site will also be prepared for the next two phases, expected to be built over a period of time. This phased process gives the City options in deciding what to do as funding becomes available.

Building a Community Center for Decades to Come

Currently, the project team is setting dates in the coming months for a series of three community workshops to get further input on design and conceptual options. From the beginning, the City Council has made it clear that this is your community center. We strongly encourage everyone to participate in these workshops as they will guide Group 4 in designing the new Community Center.

On Tuesday, May 1st, the City will host a design values workshop to get community input on the look and feel of the new Community Center. The workshop will take place at the Millbrae Community Center in the City Hall parking lot at 7 p.m.  Please join us.

Our goal in this process is to build a community center that will be used and useful for decades to come. We are listening intently to the community’s ideas and hope everyone will be able to attend.

We are approaching the second anniversary of the Community Center fire. It has been a long road since then, and while there is a lot of work still to do, much has been done to restore vital community services as quickly as possible. By the end of 2018, we will have a final design and know how the project will be funded. In 2019, we anticipate completion of the construction drawings and hope to break ground.

Thank you for being an active participant in this entire process. Your input has been invaluable. Importantly, thank you for being patient. We all want this done right so we can build a new community center everyone will be proud of.


The Community Center Sub-Committee

Gina Papan, Mayor

Reuben Holober, Councilmember

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