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Future Millbrae Community Center Workshop Focuses on Cohesive Use

Post Date:05/18/2017 11:09 AM

Open spaces, multi-use rooms and access were all major topics of discussion on Tuesday night at the interactive workshop for the future Millbrae Community Center. More than 30 Millbrae residents participated in the two-hour event, sharing their ideas on what amenities and services they thought should be included at the new Community Center.

“It’s not just about the Community Center,” said one participant. “Taylor Middle School students walk through the property and Central Park. We need to account for when they go to school and get out because it impacts how and when we will use the Community Center.”

Early in the discussion, several participants noted that there needs to be improved access for pedestrians, bicyclists and motor vehicles at the new Community Center. Workshop facilitators then drew out potential access points and thoroughfares around a site map of the Community Center site, Central Park and the surrounding area.

While several participants noted which streets become jammed and during what times, others focused on the need to better incorporate Central Park into the new Community Center.

“We need to make sure we preserve the limited open space and green fields we do have,” said one participant. “The new Community Center needs to incorporate Central Park, and it needs to be easily accessible so it can be used for large formal and informal events.”

Outdoor activities and recreation areas drew much attention during the discussion. Dawn Merkes, a principal at Group 4 Architecture, noted that “outdoor activities and programs like summer camps, performing arts events, movies in the park, and outdoor fitness are highly desired in Millbrae. Making the new Community Center cohesive indoors and outdoors will be a key point of success for this project.”

Workshop facilitators from Group 4 acknowledged that the goal at the end of this process is to combine everyone’s ideas and desires, and present the City Council with a cohesive Community Center Master Plan. They also noted that while not everything everyone wants will be in the final plan, they will be creative in efficiently using the space to create an attractive and flexible facility.

“From what we have heard so far, the future Millbrae Community Center needs to offer a variety of amenities and services for everyone to use and enjoy. Our goal is to focus and combine those ideas into a community center that everyone in Millbrae - men and women, young and old – will enjoy and use,” said Andrea Gifford, a principal at Group 4 Architecture. “To give Millbrae the Community Center it wants and deserves though, we need everyone who has a vested interest in this project to participate in the planning process.”

Millbrae residents who missed Tuesday night’s workshop have the opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts with the planning and design team by filling out an online survey. The survey can be accessed at To learn more about the new Millbrae Community Center, and to sign-up for e-mail updates on the project, please visit


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