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TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF CITY COUNCIL
FROM: DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS
DATE: SEPTEMBER 2, 2003
SUBJECT: CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
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.
Staff concluded from discussions at the May 6, 2003 meeting that a City Council chamber should have the following characteristics:
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:
Staff believes that the following additional features should be included in the plan:
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.
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:
A preliminary schedule is as follows:
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:
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:
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.
Dean E. Allison
Director of Public Works