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Millbrae Community Center Fire Update

August 24, 2016

Post Date:08/24/2016 11:55 AM

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:

Millbrae residents who wish to provide input into the community center rebuild discussion can do so by submitting their comments at: 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.

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.



Gina Papan, Council Member

Wayne J. Lee, Council Member

Community Center Sub-Committee

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