Deputy city manager: Arrillaga will fund Menlo gymnastics center


Palo Alto developer John Arrillaga, who is already helping Menlo Park build a gymnasium, will also help the city fund a new gymnastics center, Deputy City Manager Kent Steffens said at the City Council meeting Tuesday, June 8.

Based on preliminary talks between the city and Mr. Arrillaga, the city would pay $6.2 million of the estimated $11.5 million cost of the center, with Mr. Arrillaga covering the rest. The city's payment would essentially zero out its remaining Measure T and recreation-in-lieu funds, according to Mr. Steffens.

"This is pretty fantastic news," Councilman Heyward Robinson said, joining other council members in expressing his gratitude for the donation. "Congratulations to staff for whatever you did to pave the way for Mr. Arrillaga to be so generous."

The city already has a master plan for the new gymnastics center, which would be built at the site of the existing gymnasium in the Civic Center. The city has said that it won't demolish the existing gymnasium until the new gymnasium opens this fall.

"I don't have a schedule yet, but I know from experience that Mr. Arrillaga likes to work fast," Mr. Steffens said, when asked about the possible timetable for building the gymnastics center. He added that Mr. Arrillaga would oversee the construction of the gymnastic center.

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Posted by congrats
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 9, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Here is our CIty being really fiscally conservative and savvy in getting up the best possible facilities while minimizing taxpayer impacts. We are getting a lot more for our Measure T bond dollars than we ever though we could. This will serve several generations, too.

Staff and the current council have done a GREAT job here. KUDOs!

Like this comment
Posted by Excuse Me!
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 10, 2010 at 7:58 am

What kind of fool would give credit to the City Council for the most generous donation by a most accomplished capitalist who has created numerous jobs and great wealth for the community! The above posting is the biggest bunch of nonsense I have read in the Almanac in the past 6 months.

This was Arrillaga's work pure and simple and for the above poster to give credit to our moribund and unaccomplished City Council goes beyond the pale. Remember, the City Council, in its fractured decision making process, did its best to impose unreasonable conditions on the offer that almost caused Arrillaga to back out of his most generous donation.

The only person deserving credit is Arrillaga. And we owed Arrillage a world of thanks for his patience with our amateurish, unreasonable, and clueless City Council.

Like this comment
Posted by I Agree!
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jun 10, 2010 at 11:14 am

I agree with Excuse Me 110%! If you would have left this decision up to our council, you would have never seen this gym, or the other gym. There would have been a survey done, or some other delay tactic, or some type of petition drive by their "no growth buddies" or perhaps a revenue share tactic of some sort. What a bunch of malarky in that post! If you're going to post, at least get half way to the truth "congrats"! Thank you Mr. Arrillage, and thanks for forcing the issue to move this opportunity quickly. Amazing what an accomplished capitalist, without roadblocks, can achieve!

Like this comment
Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 10, 2010 at 5:07 pm

[Multiple posts removed; stick to the issues; personal attacks violate terms of use]

Like this comment
Posted by R.GORDON
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2010 at 6:28 am

R.GORDON is a registered user.

[Portion removed] No matter what, the offering from Mr. Arrillaga did something none of the locals did and he gave without fanfare.
[Portion removed] may I suggest instead of tearing down the old gym, you move it along with the Jackling House which Steve Job wants off his property, to its new location. Then you can get a "two-fer" and spend your empty weekends refurbishing the old gym while they "spruce" up the hideously UNhistorical Jackling House. It took an Oxford education for me to help you on that one.....

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