Los Altos Opinions Exchange
We have been reviewing a proposed new long term master plan to rebuild our civic center and consolidate community rooms near city hall. The proposal adds underground parking to open up more playing fields. There is no increase in program space and some of the apricot orchard is removed. A very nice community plaza would connect city hall, the library and the new civic center. The total cost is $45M, a rough estimate.
There is an existing Civic Center master plan adopted in 1991 and still applicable until revoked. This plan would be far less expensive. The north end (back) of the Hillview facility would be rebuilt with a larger structure that could include a live theater replacing the Bus Barn, plus an improved senior center. We could also rehabilitate the other Hillview buildings structurally and improve heating, plumbing, ventilation and wiring. This would retain low profile buildings with courtyard landscaping and individual entry doors to the rooms. The existing master plan would be more easily accomplished in phases since there is no underground parking garage.
Neither the current Civic Center master plan nor the proposed new one is currently funded. If we change to a new plan as described, then we would need to come up with a serious bond issue to build the major portion over an underground parking garage.
The task force has been asked to reconsider the original master plan and compare the new and old plans. All decisions will be made in a public forum.
Since one goal of the proposed new civic center plan is to open up more fields, there is a cost trade-off with buying additional open space when it becomes available in areas lacking neighborhood parks. We are also considering improving Hetch Hetchy land east of Los Altos Avenue as a linear park.
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