Letter to Editor: Questioning the Proposed Civic Center Campus Updates

South San Francisco, CA   January 24, 2019 by Laura Fanella, Sunshine Garden Resident/Homeowner

EDITOR’S NOTE: Laura Fanella, a long time resident of South San Francisco, has been studying the proposed Civic Center Campus from the beginning and shares her notes, and concerns, from the past January 22nd meeting. 

1-22-2019 Library Board Civic Campus update meeting

Attendance-27 including architects + 9 from board=35 total attendees

What they are designing is at the direction of council. Marian (Assistant SSF City Manager) must have said 12x’s that they are looking for “sharing space”. It’s not about the library space vs the P&R space. Sounds very (United Nations) Agenda 21 to me! Library is supposed to get an additional 5k of space, but it’s really only about 3.7k after the take away for infrastructure, but it’s “shared” space. This does seem to set well with the library folks.

Library currently has 27k, but will have 35k about $120m of the cost

(note-current library also deemed seismically unsafe-didn’t see anything about what it would cost to make it so!)

Park and rec will have 35k

Community events and CC area 5k-this maybe be held until later if not enough $$

Total 75k of building space

1.5 acres must be open space per direction of council

Parking-132 surface w/o solar canopy-too expensive

(ah, I thought that generates $$ in a version of solar power??)

30 underground mostly ADA types spots (cost-$80-$100K @ space)

58 around the area-40 employee spots currently (11-P&R & 29-Library)

(off site means near Oak Ave)

220 total spaces-currently 200 spaces

Buildings will be modular so as to have ability to change as needed and for future. Future technology to be studied next week at a workshop.

This part is a bit confusing to me, have to go back and study the documents more closely, but…

Land slope varies from 8-20’ higher than the back side of the property

3 stories-Ceiling height will be

1st level-18’ with events, gathering places, storage, loading dock access from El Camino

2nd level-15’ with activity hub street access from El Camino closer to Chestnut

15’ 3rd level-15’ with the market place and meeting spaces

Access from other side-parking lot, loading zones etc by elevator and stairs

(very confusing to me!)

Current mode to get to properties-single driver-35%, carpool-40%, transit, walk, bike-25%

Seems very short on parking, restrooms, changing rooms, food services and especially storage.

Delivery options seem very limited, maybe even not manageable based on what I know about deliveries

(need input from FedEx, UPS and tractor trailer drivers. This is always a problem—just look at Trader

Joes as an example! Deliveries are a big challenge)


PD will be 2 story 43.3k for $54m with 72 secure parking spots. Plan is to start that part this spring as it has fewer issues.

I’m all for that as their current place is not only hazardous, it’s a crappy place to have to go to work

every day!  We need them in the event of an emergency and therefore the most important piece of

this project!


FD will be 9k and $15m-not included in $210m allotted for civic campus project


So if $120m for library

$  54m for pd

$210m budgeted

$  36m left for P&R and all other areas

Don’t think that pencils out very well!!!  I still think it’s closer to $400m and that doesn’t count all the accessories they will need!  Perhaps I’m missing something, so please correct me if I’m wrong!

Laura Fanella-Sunshine Garden’s resident

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your neighbor
your neighbor
3 years ago

They don’t have enough money and should scale back.

They’ve spent the Meas.W funds before 30 years.

They’re looking for donors to make up the difference. I’d like to as Marian Lee how that effort is going.

Oversight Meeting is on even months, next one in Feb. City Hall knows the times, pls. attend.

your neighbor
your neighbor
3 years ago

Laura, good you are following the sketches, that only THEY designed. It should have been the community to decide, but that is city hall.

I suggest you bring comments to the Measure W Oversight Meeting held on Feb. to ask more questions. Ask City Clerk to be placed on the mailing list. I’ll be there.

They had been short 10M for the Fire Station that we do not NEED and has been remodeled at least a couple of times. Plan to sell the Municipal Bldg, and apply it to the Firestation . Redundant spending ! Wasteful.

Marian Lee, Asst. City Mgr. was going to report on fundraising efforts by the City to make up the money they don’t have for the project. The reality is that it is costing over projection, and should clip to scale it back and save the Muni Bldg. from the wrecking ball to pay for the fire station. We have enough fire stations for the size of our City.

Modular is bad news. Look at the SSF school district who have modular that have been guaranteed for 10 years. If it were brick-and-mortar they will be around a long time unlike” modular” like the Canal St. bldg. and the Hillside Gym.