Community Center and Central Park Update - Nov. 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Community Center Sub-Committee
Wayne Lee, Council Member
Gina Papan, Council Member