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Community Center and Central Park Update - December 2, 2016

Post Date:12/02/2016 10:15 AM

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.


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 (, 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:

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


The Community Center Sub-Committee

Wayne Lee, Council Member

Gina Papan, Council Member








Objective: Restore a degree of normalcy and predictability to the delivery of City recreation programs, classes, and services via a re-opened Central Park, and adequate, interim facilities for those displaced by the Community Center fire.

Estimated Task Duration: 4 Months



Objective: Provide supportive and timely information, and facilitate an agreement between the City and its insurance carriers for a settlement of the claim arising from the July 21st fire at the Millbrae Community Center.

Estimated Duration: 6 Months



Objective: Provide a comprehensive process for assisting the City in reaching decisions on what the community wants – and is willing to finance to replace the Community Center. Manage external resources and coordinate with City departments, commissions, City Council, and community stakeholders. Establish the possible uses and needs of the new facility.

Estimated Task Duration: 9 Months



Objective: Parallel to, and in concert with Task 3 above, work closely with City staff and consultants to produce a toolkit of analysis and recommendations designed to support policy decisions in Task 5 below.

Estimated Task Duration: 7 Months



Objective: Conclude the community engagement initiative in Task 3 with a carefully designed final vetting of alternatives and a synthesis process that ultimately produces a “preferred plan’ for rebuilding the Community Center. While absolute community consensus is not likely, the goal must be to take a package of recommendations to the City Council that will allow them to reach decisions that most in the community can accept and ultimately support.

Estimated Task Duration: 6 Months



 By the fall of 2017, the community will know what kind of rebuilt Center has been chosen and how it will be financed. Between now and then there will be many opportunities for individuals and groups to provide input and give feedback.

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