Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL

FROM: DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS

DATE: SEPTEMBER 2, 2003

SUBJECT: CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. Review plans for City Council Chambers and provide staff direction
  2. Request staff to obtain a proposal from Ron Yeo Architects for the needed services

BACKGROUND

On May 6, 2003 the City Council began discussions regarding a City Council Chamber to be built as part of the expansion plans at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center. Staff introduced for discussion the basic elements of a chamber such as the City Council platform, audience seating, staff seating, screen for viewing electronic presentations, television production room, and furniture storage. Staff also introduced topics such as should the Council Chamber be a permanent installation or should we continue to set up furniture for each meeting, and finally staff raised the topic of how a permanent facility would impact other uses for the room and facility.

There was much discussion that evening on these issues, and the City Council directed staff to investigate City Council chambers at other cities and to engage an architect to help layout potential floor plans. This report brings to the City Council the results of those studies, and requests additional direction from the City Council.

DISCUSSIONS

Staff concluded from discussions at the May 6, 2003 meeting that a City Council chamber should have the following characteristics:

  • Permanent Council dais
  • Raised platform
  • Seating for seven members
  • Permanent seating for staff
  • Temporary seating for audience
  • Room layout should consider electronic presentations
  • Portion of room not part of the City Council dais should be available for other uses

With this direction staff inspected City Council Chambers at a number of neighboring cities, and worked with an architect and audio/video consultant for assistance. From those inspections and discussions staff recommends the following floor plan for the permanent portion of the City Council chamber:

The plan includes the following permanent features:

  • Raised dais for seven members
  • Podium for presentations from the audience
  • Seating for staff
  • Dedicated television production room
  • Area for a wheelchair lift to be added at a later date

Staff believes that the following additional features should be included in the plan:

  • Monitors at each City Council seat to facilitate viewing electronic presentations
  • Electronic voting
  • Document camera so members of the public can make electronic presentations utilizing traditional documents

Because of its size, a permanent area set-aside for a City Council dais will consume a significant portion of the proposed multipurpose room at Point Vicente Interpretive Center. Therefore, staff proposes that the expansion plans be increased to provide additional floor space for a dedicated City Council area that is partitioned from the remainder of the building with a retractable partition.

Soil Contamination

Increasing the area of expansion at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center to accommodate a permanent City Council Chambers will result in significant time delays and cost increases due to the presence of contaminated soil at the site. The recently completed soil cleanup was carefully configured to match the expansion plans. All soil within the footprint of the proposed expansion was removed and replaced with clean soil. This was done so that that contaminated soil would not be uncovered during the construction of the building. If the building expansion is increased additional engineering studies will need to take place, as will reviews and approvals from the Department of Toxic Substances. If contaminated soil is discovered an additional phase of construction will be required.

Staff recommends that once a preliminary plan for the chamber at Point Vicente Interpretive Center is approved, and room dimensions are known, a contract should be awarded for the needed engineering services related to a soil investigation. Staff further recommends that if soil removal is required, a construction contract, separate from the building construction, should take place and be awarded and completed prior to advertising for bids for the building expansion.

Need for additional parking

One final consideration regarding placing the chamber at Point Vicente Interpretive Center is that additional parking and lighting will be required. There are currently 100 lighted spaces at Hesse Park, and 45 unlit spaces at Point Vicente Interpretive Center. Staff estimates the cost to build the additional 55 lighted spaces at $75,000.

Estimate of costs:

Preliminary Cost Estimate

Item

Estimate

New addition ( 1,100 sq.ft.)

$250,000

Required remodeling of roof

10,000

Platform and cabinetry

100,000

Subtotal

$ 360,000

Contingency and fees

50,000

Total building

$410,000

 

Audio / video / furniture

$90,000

Council and staff furniture

20,000

Audience chairs

35,000

Total audio / video / furniture

$145,000

 

Soil clean up

$150,000

Engineering services for remediation plan

40,000

Total soil cleanup

$190,000

   

Additional lighted parking area

$75,000

   

Grand Total

$ 825,000

   

A preliminary schedule is as follows:

Step

Milestone

Date

Remark

1

Receive direction from City Council

9/2/03

 

2

Award contract for architectural services

10/21/03

 

3

Progress report to City Council

12/2/03

 

4

Begin soil investigation

12/2/03

Follows step three

5

Submit soil remediation plan to DTSC

1/15/04

 

6

Obtain DTSC approval

4/5/04

Assume 12 week review time, which may be conservative

7

Award contract for soil cleanup

5/17/04

 

8

Complete soil cleanup

7/12/04

 

9

Advertise building construction

7/12/04

Only after step eight is completed

10

Award building construction

9/1/04

 

11

Complete building construction

9/1/05

 

ALTERNATIVE ACTION

Given the significant time delay and cost increase due to the complexity of soil remediation, staff investigated other potential locations for a permanent City Council Chambers. Hesse Park looks the most promising.

The same floor plan template developed for the permanent chambers at Point Vicente Interpretive Center will fit into the existing multipurpose room (Council Chamber) at Hesse Park. To offset for the lost space due to the dedication of space for the chamber the wall between the multipurpose room and the activity room could be removed and replaced with a retractable partition. Such a configuration would look as follows:

Comparing costs between the two options:

Cost Comparison

Item

Hesse

Park

Point Vicente

New addition ( 1,100 sq.ft.)

 

$250,000

Required remodeling of roof

$30,000

10,000

Platform and cabinetry

100,000

100,000

Wall removal

20,000

 

Miscellaneous finishes

25,000

 

Room divider

30,000

30,000

Subtotal

$ 205,000

$ 390,000

Contingency and fees

40,000

50,000

Total building

$ 245,000

$410,000

     

Audio / video / furniture

$90,000

$90,000

Council and staff furniture

20,000

20,000

Audience chairs

35,000

35,000

Total audio / video / furniture

$145,000

$145,000

   

Soil clean up

 

$150,000

Engineering services for remediation plan

 

40,000

Total soil cleanup

 

$190,000

     

Additional parking area

 

$75,000

     

Grand Total

$390,000

$ 825,000

     

Schedule:

If it is decided to construct the City Council Chambers at Hesse Park, staff recommends that construction at Hesse Park should take place only after the Point Vicente Interpretive Center expansion is completed, and that during the time that Hesse Park is under construction, the City Council should temporarily conduct their meetings at Point Vicente Interpretive Center.

The following schedule would result:

Step

Milestone

Date

1

Receive direction from City Council

9/2/03

2

Prepare PVIC for advertisement

11/15/03

3

Advertise PVIC plans

11/15/03

4

Award construction

1/7/04

5

Complete construction of PVIC expansion

1/7/05

6

Shift City Council meetings to PVIC on temporary basis

2/1/05

7

Award building revisions at Hesse Park

2/1/05

8

Complete plans for Hesse Park

6/1/05

9

Shift City Council meetings to new facilities at Hesse Park

7/1/05

Additional Information:

FISCAL IMPACT

Issue

Hesse Park

Point Vicente

Site aesthetics

 

Superior Bluff top setting is spectacular from the grounds

Vehicular access to site

Superior Good access to Hawthorne Boulevard

Less than ideal access to Palos Verdes Drive West

Electronic presentations

Screen along the sidewall for audience.

Monitors for City Council members

Superior Opportunity for rear projected screen above the City Council platform for audience.

Monitors for City Council members

 

Lobby Area

Superior A significant lobby area suitable for attendees to causally interact

No significant lobby area adjacent to meeting room.

Room for closed session

Superior Fireside room is superior to areas available at PVIC

Class room space

Cost

$390,000

$825,000

 

Project schedule

 

Expansion project will be delayed at least eight months

Room size

Superior area at Hesse would be slightly larger

 

Construction of City Council Chambers is not a budgeted item. The funding source for any construction improvements or engineering plans would be the General Fund.

Respectfully Submitted,

Dean E. Allison

Director of Public Works

Reviewed,

Les Evans

City Manager

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