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Community Center and Central Park Update - December 22, 2016

Post Date:12/22/2016 12:31 PM

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.

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 (

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 (, 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:

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


The Community Center Sub-Committee

Gina Papan, Vice Mayor

Wayne Lee, Council Member

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