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Civic Center Project

The City Council initiated efforts to redevelop its Civic Center by appointing the Civic Center Advisory Committee (CCAC) in 2013. The CCAC is chartered to advise City Council on developing the Civic Center Master Plan and on communicating with and reaching out to residents to gather feedback as the Civic Center Project moves along.

The City Council accepted the Master Plan on March 19, 2014. The Master Plan envisions construction of new buildings within the Civic Center that include Council Chambers, library, facilities for town administration, the police department, the building department and public works. Bringing together the Town’s public services and public spaces, the Civic Center project hopes to create a “there there” to achieve a balance between meeting the community’s service needs at one location and providing a space for civic pride and engagement. 

The CCAC is committed to making sure residents are included in the process. The CCAC meets monthly as a forum to provide ample opportunities for residents to express their ideas and opinions regarding the new Civic Center. A priority of the Committee is to make sure that information is readily available so residents can stay informed throughout the process. 

Regular meetings of the CCAC occur monthly in the Atherton Council Chambers - typically on the 1st Monday of each month at 4:30 pm. These meetings are public meetings and you are always welcome to attend. For more information or to provide feedback/comments, feel free to contact George Rodericks, City Manager at (650) 752-0504 or any member of the Project Team listed to the right.

Please visit the Town's online Calendar and this web page for updates.

To arrange for a tour of current facilities, please contact Gordon Siebert, Town Engineer. Contact information for the project team is located in the right-hand panel of this webpage. 

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Status of Project

June 2015

WRNS Studio is presently in the Conceptual Design Phase of the project. This phase involves a confirmation of the key elements of the existing Master Plan, development of the program spaces for each project area (Library, Administration, Finance, Building, Public Works, Planning, Police, and Public Spaces), and overall layout of the site and site development. 

Public Outreach meetings are scheduled to introduce the Civic Center’s conceptual design to Atherton residents. Those designs are listed below. 

Concept No. 1 in JPEG Format
Concept No. 2 in JPEG Format
Site Analysis
Landscape Ideas

The schedule begins with 2 large community outreach meetings at the Park, followed by 4 neighborhood outreach meetings. Please feel free to attend any or all of the meetings. The agenda will be similar for all. The scheduled meetings are:

  • Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 6 pm to 8 pm - Jennings Pavilion
  • Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 6 pm to 8 pm - Carriage House
  • Sunday, June 14, 2015 - 4 pm to 6 pm - 99 Alejandra Avenue
  • Monday, June 15, 2015 - 6 pm to 8 pm - 40 Irving Avenue
  • Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - 6 pm to 8 pm - 84 Clay Drive
  • Tuesday, June 23, 2015 - 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm - Atherton Library

These meetings culminate in a Special CCAC meeting on June 23, 2015 from 7:30 pm to 9 pm to wrap up and summarize the feedback. The CCAC will meet in the Council Chambers. 

After gathering resident input, WRNS Studio, will refine the conceptual plan and present the preferred alternative to the City Council at a concluding meeting for City Council direction.

After completing the Conceptual Design Phase, WRNS will move on to the Schematic Design Phase and add the finer details to the programming and architectural design. The Schematic Design Phase (lasting until approximately October/November 2015) is where WRNS will fine-tune room sizes and relationships, systems, interior spaces, and prepare preliminary elevation studies of the buildings exteriors. There are a number of key issues to be ironed out before the Project Team moves to the Design Development (estimated November 2015). These include a 36" SFPUC Water Main that bisects the site lengthwise creating development and design issues for the project; and, consideration of an underground parking facility which would facilitate better design alternatives. The underground parking facility is largely dependent on the success of the fundraising efforts for the overall project.
Once WRNS moves into Design Development (November through January/February 2016) they will develop definitive plans and elevations, colors, patterns, fixtures, materials, etc. There will continue to be public input and engagement all along for feedback. 

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Civic Center Master Plan has been prepared and available for public comment. The Notice of Availability was distributed on April 24, 2015.The public comment period on the DEIR ends at 5:00 p.m. on June 22, 2015. City Council is expected to approve a Final Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Civic Center Master Plan and Project in July for certification. Even with the continuing discussion of the Project staff does not expect any significant changes that impact environmental review. Significant change would include the addition of significant traffic or traffic patterns to and from the site based on a significant use change; demolition of historic structures, or the consideration of facilities beyond the existing scope. None of these issues are contemplated within the current design discussions. 

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Project Timeline

The project is presently in the Conceptual Design Phase. This phase is expected to complete in mid-July 2015. Following is a basic timeline for the project:

  • Conceptual Design Phase - completes July 2015
  • Schematic Design Phase - July 2015 - October 2015
  • Design Development Phase - November 2015 - January 2016
  • Construction Drawings Phase - February 2016 - July 2016
  • Bid Phase - July 2016 - September 2016
  • Construction Phase - September 2016 - April 2018

Project Cost/Funding

Measure L, approved by voters in 2012, restricts the types of funds that can be used for the design and construction of the new Town Center, generally requiring that more than half of the funds come from private donations and other non-tax sources, such as building fees or grants. The Town cannot use General Fund or Parcel Tax Funds to design or construct the new Town Center. The costs associated with the Library can be funded by Library funds. 


The total cost of design for the new Town Center and Library totals approximately $3.2 million. 

 Design Phases Cost Library Building Donations
1. Master Plan Confirmation $122,060 $31,735.60 $9,764.80 $80,559.60
2. Conceptual Design $257,420 $66,929.20 $20,593.60 $169,897.20
3. Schematic Design $304,300 $79,118.00 $24,344.00 $200,838.00
4. Design Development $767,985 $199,676.10 $61,438.80 $506,870.10
5. Construction Drawings $1,182,615 $307,479.90 $94,609.20 $780,525.90
6. Bidding $65,740 $17,092.40 $5,259.20 $43,388.40
7. Construction Admin $519,960 $135,189.60 $41,596.80 $343,173.60
Total $3,220,080 $837,220.80 $257,606.40 $2,125,252.80


The cost estimate will be refined as the project evolves. The initial cost estimate for overall project cost (inclusive of design) was $31.8 million. This included numerous unknowns and contingencies given its very preliminary nature based on the Master Plan. The total construction cost estimate was approximately $23 million. This does not include a number of alternatives (such as underground parking, green-building upgrades, or refurbishment of the potentially historic Council Chambers). These options could add an additional $10-$12 million to the project construction costs. 

At this time, based on the design of the project and site development, the Library accounts for approximately 26% of the overall costs, the Building and Development Services accounts for another 8% of the overall costs, and the remaining 66% must be funded through donations or grant funding. With a total estimated project cost of $31.8 million, approximately $20 million must be raised for a basic project with another $10 million for project options. 

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Project Documents

Links to City Council Milestone Meeting Packets

Architect Agreement and Scope of Work
As of March 2015, WRNS was authorized to proceed through Phase II, Conceptual Design. 

Environmental Impact Report
EIR Scoping Meeting November 3, 2014
Initial Study Checklist
Notice of Availability (NOA)
Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR)
DEIR Appendices:
A. Initial Study
B. Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Background Modeling and Data
C. Health Risk Assessment
D. Cultural Resources Study for the Atherton Civic Center Master Plan
E. Noise Monitoring Data
F. Transportation Impact Analysis

Final Civic Center Master Plan
Master Plan Document
Site Plan
Project Schedule
Appendix A - Meeting Notes
Appendix B - Powerpoint Presentations of Meetings
Appendix C - Photos of Community Meetings
Appendix D - Graphic Recordings
Appendix E - Detailed Program
Appendix F - Detailed Cost Estimate
Appendix G - Survey
Appendix H - Traffic Report
Appendix I - Arborist Report

Architect Submittals
WRNS Studio 
Harley Ellis Devereaux
Swatt Miers
Siegel & Strain Architects
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson
Architectural Services for Civic Center Design RFQ 
Civic Center Architect RFP Note: distributed only to invited architects

Other Project Documents
SFPUC pipeline highlighted (1937 map) 
Existing Conditions Plan - 2013
Civic Center Master Plan RFP - March 2013
HMC+BPA Draft Schedule | Timeline - July 2013
HMC+BPA Proposal - July 17, 2013
Community Workshop Graphic Recording - September 2013
Site Challenge Graphic Recording - September 2013
Likes Dislikes Diagram - September 2013
PowerPoint Presentation from Public Workshop #1 - September 17, 2013 
Master Plan Presentation to City Council - November 6, 2013
CCAC meeting agenda and reports - December 3, 2013
Atherton Town Center Site Master Plan December 11, 2013
Atherton Town Center Option 4.1 December 18, 2013
Mack5 Proposal - June 2014
RFP Q&A December 2, 2014

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Civic Center Staff Project Team

George Rodericks

City Manager

Gordon Siebert
Town Engineer

Ed Flint
Police Chief

Theresa DellaSanta
City Clerk

Tom Fortin
SMCL Deputy Director


Civic Center Advisory Committee


Project Management
Paul Beamer & Mark Kelley
1900 Powell Street
Emeryville, CA 94608

Pauline Souza & Adam Woltag
WRNS Studio
501 2nd Street, #402
San Francisco, CA 94107

Fund Raising
Atherton Now