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Civic Center Project - Social Media #AthertonCivicCenter

The City Council initiated efforts to redevelop its Civic Center by appointing the Civic Center Advisory Committee (CCAC) in 2013. The CCAC was chartered to advise City Council on 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 envisioned 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 Council hired WRNS Architects in late 2014 to begin work on the Project's design. The CCAC worked with WRNS through 2015 and presented a Conceptual Master Plan to the City Council on October 7. The City Council accepted the Conceptual Master Plan and the project is now in the Schematic Design Phase. 

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. 

Latest Plans

Accepted Conceptual Design (10/7/2015) - Design Accepted with Modification (not shown) to Council Chambers relocated from Admin wing to Public Safety wing.

Preliminary Schematic Design - November 2015

Cost and Revenue Summary - November 2015

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Status of Project

November 2015

The City Council authorized moving into the Schematic Phase of the project. Latest preliminary plans are shown above. 

October 2015

The City Council accepted the Conceptual Plan with the modification (not shown) of relocating the proposed Council Chambers from the Administrative Services wing to the Public Safety Services wing of the facility. The Council directed that the project continue forward into the Schematic Design Phase. 

September & October 2015

City Council certified the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the Civic Center Master Plan and Project in September.

City Council approved the Conceptual Design (see the Concept Design Summary) on October 7, 2015, following extensive analysis and review by the CCAC. WRNS will move on to the Schematic Design Phase, which includes fine-tuning of room sizes and relationships, systems, interior spaces, and preparation of preliminary elevation studies of the buildings’ exteriors.

Once WRNS moves into Design Development they will draw definitive plans and elevations, colors, patterns, fixtures, materials, etc. There will continue to be public input and engagement all along for feedback. 

July/August 2015

WRNS Studio is completing 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 were held in June to introduce the Civic Center’s conceptual design to Atherton residents. Those designs are listed below as Concepts No.1 and No. 2. Following much public input, WRNS prepared Option 3 for further consideration. The most recently selected plan is shown below as Option 3, and it is being refined by WRNS to better meet the Town needs, as suggested by the CCAC at their July 20, 2015 meeting.

After completing the Conceptual Design Phase, and following Council approval of the Conceptual Design, WRNS will move on to the Schematic Design Phase and to the programming and architectural design. The Schematic Design Phase is where WRNS will fine-tune room sizes and relationships, systems, interior spaces, and prepare preliminary elevation studies of the buildings exteriors.
Once WRNS moves into Design Development they will draw 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 will be presented to the Planning Commission for review. City Council is expected to certify a Final Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) for the Civic Center Master Plan and Project in September.
Link to final EIR

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Project Timeline

The project is presently in the Schematic Design Phase. This phase is expected to complete in January 2016. Following is a basic timeline for the remainder of the project: 

• Schematic Design Phase - October 2015 - January 2016
• Design Development Phase - January 2016 - May 2016
• Construction Drawings Phase - June 2016 - November 2016
• Bid Phase - November 2016 - December 2016
• Construction Phase - January 2017 - September 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 prepared by an independent cost estimator for the Conceptual Plan is $42.9 million. It will be refined as the project evolves. The initial cost estimate for overall project cost (inclusive of design) was $31.8 million based on the initial Master Plan. This original estimate did not include a number of alternatives (such as enhanced roofing, green-building upgrades, or refurbishment of the potentially historic Council Chambers). These selected options add an additional $5 million to the project construction costs.

At this time (October 2015), based on the design of the project and site development, the Library accounts for approximately 31% of the overall costs, the Building and Development Services accounts for another 5% of the overall costs, and the remaining 64% must be funded through donations or grant funding. The Library portion of the project is fully funded by Library revenues ($13.4 million). The Town has approximately $2.2 million in authorized funding approved under the ballot measure for the remainder of the project plus any accumulated donations from Atherton Now for soft costs. Atherton Now has advised that the "soft costs" for the project are fully funded. As noted above, this represents approximately $2.1 million in additional funding. Extracting the cost of the Library and the revenue noted prior ($17.7 million total) from the total project costs of $42.9 million leaves approximately $25.2 in required funds. 

Included in the $25.2 in remaining required funds is $4.4 million in contingencies that will be reduced as the design of the project moves forward. Also included is the potential for cost-escalation between the current estimate of project award through the mid-point of construction. This is another $2.8 million. This amount is a projection that will need to be adjusted as the project moves forward. 

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Project Documents

Links to City Council Milestone Meeting Packets

Architect Agreement and Scope of Work
As of October 2015, WRNS was authorized to proceed through Phase III, Schematic 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
Cost Comparison Summary - October 2015
Civic Center Cost Estimate - October 2015
Concept Design Summary - October 7, 2015

Conceptual Design - October 7, 2015
CCAC Recommended Conceptual Plan - September 2015
Mack5 September 2015 Estimate
Concept No. 1 in JPEG Format
Concept No. 2 in JPEG Format
Pathway Scheme
Linked Buildings
Site Analysis
Landscape Ideas
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