Town Square

John Arrillaga unveiled as Menlo Park gym donor

Original post made on Jun 23, 2008

Palo Alto billionaire and frequent Stanford University donor John Arrillaga is offering Menlo Park some $8 million or more to build a new Burgess Gym at the city's Civic Center, the city disclosed Monday.
Mr. Arrillaga, a basketball player at Stanford in the 1950s, has been active, as a player and a coach, in the city's Burgess Gym basketball programs for 30 years, and he wants to "give back to the community," City Manager Glen Rojas told The Almanac.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, June 23, 2008, 11:59 AM


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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 23, 2008 at 3:44 pm

Thank you, John, for what looks like a very gracious offer.

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Posted by gym rat
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 24, 2008 at 12:26 am

Great heart from a generous man. I do wonder why his identity had to be kept such a secret--seems annoying and unnecessary--and why it hadn't previously been mentioned that he was a long-time user of the gym. To me, that makes a huge difference because I feel more confident that he will understand the problems with the current facility and the need for improvement.

I would love to see a gym like the one he built on campus. No need to hire an architect,we can just take those plans and build the same thing in MP.

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Posted by Widgeon
a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Jun 24, 2008 at 7:09 am

Thanks to John Arrillaga for the generous offer!

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Posted by well
a resident of another community
on Jun 24, 2008 at 9:43 am

gym rat,
if you ask for the plans for the recreation center, you won't get any locker rooms or showers. mr. arrillaga is generous, but sometimes there are strings attached.

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Posted by hopeful
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 25, 2008 at 5:24 pm

We are blessed to receive the generosity of this man. I am hopeful we can make good decisions about the whole project and not get blindsided by his star power or the siren call of the money. Sometimes things are too good to be true, and we must properly conduct the environmental and other impacts of this project. We must also look at the longer term to make sure that the proposed layout and traffic patterns make sense when we replace the rec center, too. We also must use proper due diligence about every aspect, including getting other bids for parts of the work. The community will respect a good process, one that would be used when someone of lesser stature were involved in the deal.

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Posted by Curious
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jun 26, 2008 at 11:32 am

I understand Arrillaga was very involved in the design and contruction of the Stanford University gym/athletic center that he funded. I wonder what people who use that facility think of it?