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.