Atherton is holding a series of June meetings to find out what residents and others who use its public buildings want in the design of a new civic center.
Architects Adam Woltag and Pauline Souza, the partners in the WRNS Studio architectural firm who are responsible for designing the civic center, showed two possible concepts for the new complex at the first meeting, on June 3. They said the schemes are based on the master plan completed in March 2014, but consider information uncovered since then, including the location of a 36-inch-diameter water pipe running under the town's property.
One of the major questions they sought opinions on was the location of the new library and the police offices. One option is a stand-alone library near where the current library is; the second is to share a location with the town administrative offices.
Putting the library with administrative offices and the police headquarters in a separate building makes financial sense, Mr. Woltag said, because public safety activities must "be able to function in a disaster" so the police building must be built more robustly.
Both schemes show mostly two-story buildings clustered around open green spaces. The noise from and the view of the nearby train tracks would be muffled and screened by buildings, landscaping and built-up berms.
One unknown impacting the civic center design is the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's (SFPUC) water line. "We don't know exactly what the condition is," City Manager George Rodericks said.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Lewis, a member of the Civic Center Advisory Committee, said the town is hoping the SFPUC will move the water line closer to the railroad tracks, allowing more flexibility in building placement.
One of the group of about 25 people who attended the June 3 meeting asked whether there is anyone who "might gear up to fight" the new civic center. Ms. Lewis said the town has been working with neighbors of the site for seven years. "A lot of their fears have been allayed," she said. "The goal is to mitigate the traffic impact and any additional noise."
Five more meetings are planned this month. The first three will be at Atherton residences (a postcard with the locations is being mailed to Atherton residents): Sunday, June 14, from 4 to 6 p.m.; Monday, June 15, from 6 to 8 p.m.; and Tuesday, June 16, from 6 to 8 p.m..
Both of the other two meetings will be held on the same day, Tuesday, June 23. One will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Atherton Library at 2 Dinkelspiel Station Lane; and the other, a Civic Center Advisory Committee meeting, from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Atherton council chambers at 94 Ashfield Road.
The town's website has more information on the civic center project.