Status of the Civic Center Project
The Atherton Civic Center Project has been out to bid since March 2018. Bids were originally due on May 22 at 2 pm; but given the competitive bidding climate, that deadline has been extended to June 5. We anticipate that the City Council will be reviewing the submissions at their June 20 Regular Meeting. The project was bid to 5 prequalified general contractors; but not all will submit a bid.
The project generally involves the demolition of the existing facilities (Admin, Police, Building, Planning, and Library and the creation of new facilities as well as renovation of the historic Town Hall. Site improvements include a realignment of Ashfield Road and Station Lane and the creation of a new public space. In addition to construction, these facilities will include green building technologies to enhance the civic campus as a green facility compliant with State law.
The project includes 10 Bid Alternate opportunities to reduce costs and/or enhance the facility or green building opportunities. Alternates to reduce cost include the provision of hydro seeding rather than full planting in public spaces; using aluminum window systems instead of wood systems in the Library; and the elimination of the new Council Chambers facility. Additional alternates are provided to enhance the project (assuming adequate funding). These include the use of stone instead of pre-cast concrete on portions of the building exteriors and the use of copper gutters instead of galvanized steel. Lastly, there are opportunities to step forward with green building technologies through additive alternates for the project, assuming adequate funding. These additive alternates include enhanced energy monitoring, added photovoltaic opportunities, a mechanical chilled thermal water system, and a Microgrid system for the Administration and Police spaces.
Enhanced energy monitoring allows the Town to more closely monitor and control its energy resources and use. This also provides the opportunity for identification of solutions during an energy crisis. Photovoltaic is a part of the Library facility as part of the base bid; however, for the Administration and Police Department facility, photovoltaic solutions are an additive alternative dependent upon funding availability. The use of photovoltaic solutions allows the Town to utilize solar energy for local use and provides the opportunity to sell back any excess solar as part of a power purchase agreement. A mechanical chilled water system is also specified as an alternate to assist with the Town’s thermal and HVAC needs. This system could be designed into the facility, and be partially paid for through PG&E design rebate. As you may know, the Town’s Police Department also functions as the Town’s 911 System and Emergency Dispatch. As a result, there are multiple generators onsite to power the facility in the event of a short or long-term power outage. This would be no different in the new building; however, the project specifications allows the option of a Microgrid. A Microgrid is a small network of resilient electricity supply that enables the Town to function independent of the energy grid for a longer period of time in the event of a power outage or necessary load distribution. The intelligent Microgrid represents a new approach for designing and operating the electric grid by providing renewables-driven power as a backup to aid in prioritizing loads over different durations. The Microgrid would allow the Town to leverage local renewable energy against the energy grid for more reliability, power quality, and resiliency.
The Town is continuously seeking additional funding opportunities for the Civic Center Project either directly or through the resources of Atherton Now. In addition to a straight cash donation, funding opportunities can also come in the form of the provision of services or products for the facility. Stay tuned for more as the project moves along!