Legislative Public Meetings

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File #: 17-0617   
Type: Report to Council Status: Passed
Meeting Body: City Council
On agenda: 7/25/2017
Title: Council Direction on Civic Center Master Plan Alternatives for Public Safety Building Improvements and City Hall Annex Building Renovations
Attachments: 1. Location Map Public Safety Building Addition, 2. Public Safety Building Preliminary Floor Plan, 3. Cost Estimate, 4. City Hall Annex Seismic Evaluation, 5. City Hall Annex Building Assessment, 6. Staff Presentation 2017725 (17-0617)

REPORT TO COUNCIL

SUBJECT

Title

Council Direction on Civic Center Master Plan Alternatives for Public Safety Building Improvements and City Hall Annex Building Renovations

 

Report

REPORT IN BRIEF

To inform preparation of site Master Plan alternatives staff requests direction from Council on space for NOVA Workforce Services and whether to pursue an addition to the Public Safety Building. These decisions will both affect the ultimate size of the new City Hall Building and could affect the future location of parking facilities and circulation elements.

 

City Hall Annex Building Evaluation

A detailed building evaluation was completed for the City Hall Annex Building to determine the cost and suitability of renovating the first floor for use by NOVA Workforce Services. The evaluation concluded that NOVA could fit in the building with a full interior remodel and some space compromises as described below. Estimated cost for the renovation is $8.1 M (in 2017 dollars). Based on the earlier feasibility study costs to accommodate NOVA in a new City Hall Building ranged between $11.3 M to $13.5 M. Although costs for a renovation would be less, staff feels including space for NOVA in a new building has numerous advantages and would represent the best value for the City.

 

Including NOVA in a new City Hall Building provides the City the greatest flexibility for site layout of future facilities. Having multiple facilities integrated into one new building will help to increase open space and make multiple City services available to customers in one location. It also increases options for sharing classroom and meeting space with other departments and for making this space available to the public after business hours.

 

Public Safety Building Addition Alternatives

The Public Safety Building is now 32 years old. It is in good condition but too small to meet current and future needs of the Department. A list of high priority space needs was developed for the Public Safety Building that include: a dedicated Emergency Operations Center; more space for evidence storage, locker rooms, the crime lab, briefing room, and interview rooms; space for the Fire Prevention Unit; and a renovated lobby space.

 

Preliminary plans have been developed for an 11,000 sq. ft. building addition located north of the existing main entry (see Attachment 1). Moving some existing functions into the addition and renovating a portion of the existing building could meet many of the high priority space needs that have been identified. Estimated cost for the addition and renovations is $18.2 M. The 2015 Civic Center feasibility study looked at several options to fully renovate and expand the Public Safety Building or to replace it entirely. Estimated costs ranged from $65 M for the lowest cost renovation/addition option to $94 M for the most expensive new building option. Staff recommends including a building addition to the Public Safety Building as part of Phase 1 of the Civic Center Project. While this option will not meet long-term space needs for Public Safety, it relieves the most critical space needs in the near term at a manageable cost.

 

BACKGROUND

In early 2015, the City started an extensive community outreach process to consider alternatives to modernize the Civic Center Campus. Council provided direction at several key points in the process including:

                     A “Range of Project Alternatives” document was adopted at the beginning of the 2015 community outreach process (RTC No. 15-011, Feb. 24, 2016, see Attachment 1 for Range of Project Alternatives). It identified that we would evaluate either replacement or renovation/building addition options for the Main Library, Public Safety Building, City Hall Annex and City Hall buildings. It stated that the Sunnyvale Office Center, South Annex, and Garden Conference Room buildings would be demolished. Renovation of these buildings was not considered.

                     Vision Statement, Success Criteria, and Needs Assessment documents were adopted for the Civic Center Project (RTC No. 15-0776, Sept. 9, 2015, See Attachment 2 for final documents).

                     Eliminate consideration of the sale or lease of land at the Civic Center as a way to provide funding for the project (RTC No. 15-0445, Dec. 15, 2015).

                     Eliminate further consideration of Land Use Prototype G - Courthouse land alternative (RTC No. 15-0445, Dec. 15, 2015).

                     Based on the results of a community survey on a potential bond measure, do not pursue a bond measure in November 2016, and pursue implementation of the Civic Center Project using a phased approach (RTC No. 16-0077, May 17, 2016, See Attachment 3 for survey results).

                     Include space for NOVA Workforce Services at the Civic Center either by renovating the City Hall Annex Building or by including space in a new City Hall (RTC No. 16-0072, Oct. 25, 2016).

                     The existing City Hall Building will be replaced with a new building that includes sustainable features to achieve a LEED Platinum rating as part of Phase 1 of the Civic Center Project (RTC No. 16-0072, Oct. 25, 2016).

                     Further evaluation of the Public Safety Building will be included in the Master Plan for selective remodeling improvements and/or a building addition (RTC 16-0072, Oct. 25, 2016).

On October 25, 2016, City Council approved a scope of services for the Civic Center Modernization Project Master Plan (RTC No. 16-0072). The scope outlines specific consulting services needed to complete a long-term Master Plan for the Civic Center and further defined what elements of the project would be implemented as part of the first phase of construction. The scope of work also documented decisions that have already been made by the Council and specific studies that were needed to support decision making during the master planning process. At this same meeting Council considered alternatives for locating NOVA Workforce Services (NOVA). NOVA currently leases space from the City at the Sunnyvale Office Center, a building planned to be replaced as part of the Civic Center project. Council direction was to keep NOVA at the Civic Center, with the understanding that NOVA would not be able to pay market based rent for their future space. Council provided further direction that a condition assessment be completed for the City Hall Annex Building to evaluate potential renovation needs if the building would be used by NOVA.

 

A multi-step public procurement process was used to solicit interest and select a consultant to complete the Civic Center Master Plan. On May 17, 2017, Council awarded a contract to SmithGroup JJR for master planning services (RTC No. 17-0136). SmithGroup JJR is an architecture firm with extensive experience preparing campus master plans and designing modern, sustainable and attractive buildings. The City’s agreement with SmithGroup JJR includes a detailed scope of services, and project schedule that identifies Council decisions points and community outreach activities throughout the master planning process. The creation of a long-term Master Plan for the Civic Center will build on the City’s outreach efforts to date and direction the City Council has already given to shape the Civic Center Modernization Project.

 

EXISTING POLICY

General Plan Chapter 4, Community Character includes the following policies applicable to the Civic Center Modernization Project:

4.1b Consider ways to increase the visibility of the Civic Center on Mathilda Avenue and El Camino Real and consider better identification for the Community Center along Remington.

3.1d Consider developing Zoning Code standards for minimum depths of below grade parking and avoid at grade parking under building.

The Council Fiscal Policy contains several policies related to infrastructure in section 7.1C, Capital Improvement Policies:

C.1.3 High priority should be given to replacing capital improvements prior to the time that they have deteriorated to the point where they are hazardous, incur high maintenance costs, negatively affect property values, or no longer serve their intended purposes.

C.1.5 Priority will be given to the repair and replacement of existing infrastructure as compared to the provision of new or expanded facilities.

C.1 The decision on whether to repair or to replace an existing capital asset will be based on which alternative is most cost-effective or provides the best value to the City.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW

Providing direction to staff regarding the preparation of Master Plan alternatives is exempt from California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review pursuant to Section 15262 of the CEQA guidelines. (Public Resources Code section 15262.)  When the Council considers the adoption of the Master Plan the appropriate environmental review will be conducted.  The scope of services for the Master Plan includes preparation of a Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The EIR will be prepared and circulated for public comment during the master planning process and certified prior to Council action to consider adoption of the final Master Plan.

 

DISCUSSION

This report focuses on two key issues where Council direction is needed to proceed with the development of master plan alternatives: 1) Should the existing City Hall Annex Building be renovated and used to provide space for NOVA Workforce Services, or should space for NOVA be included in the new City Hall? and 2) Should the City pursue an addition to the Department of Public Safety Building as part of Phase 1 of the Civic Center Project?

 

City Hall Annex Building Evaluation

The City Hall Annex Building (Annex) was originally built in 1970 as Sunnyvale’s Department of Public Safety Headquarters. Public Safety quickly outgrew the building and the present Public Safety Building was built in 1985. At that point the building was renovated and repurposed as office space for other City departments. Today the building houses the City’s Finance and Information Technology departments.

 

The Annex is comprised of a first floor (14,650 sq. ft.) and a basement level (6,500 sq. ft.). NOVA’s space needs have been estimated at approximately 15,300 sq. ft. If the Annex were renovated NOVA would occupy the entire first floor. The basement level could be used for storage but is not considered suitable for office space or for delivering NOVA services to their customers.

 

When Council considered whether NOVA should stay at the Civic Center, preliminary cost estimates were prepared for either renovation of the Annex or including NOVA in the new City Hall Building. At that point in the feasibility analysis a building condition assessment had not been completed and little was known about the future design for City Hall. Given the limited project details cost ranges were used. Using the high end of the cost range and assuming NOVA needed 15,000 sq. ft., the preliminary cost for a renovated annex was estimated at $10.5 M versus costs for space in a new City hall were estimated at $13.5 M (See RTC No. 16-0072). (Note: costs are in 2015 dollars, and include design, construction, and project administration costs. Parking and site work costs were not included in these estimates.)

 

The Master Plan scope includes a building assessment and building systems for the Annex such as heating and air conditioning, the condition of building materials, a seismic evaluation, a LEED check list, and preparation of a floor plan. This additional information allowed more detailed cost estimates to be prepared and a fit test of how NOVA would fit on the first floor of the building. Major findings from the Annex renovation assessment are as follows:

                     NOVA could be accommodated on the first floor of the building with some exceptions. Some storage areas and the lobby were reduced to fit in the space. It was assumed that a large computer lab would be located in City Hall and shared between NOVA and other City functions. Space for future staff growth would not fit within available space.

                     Accommodating NOVA would require a complete first floor renovation. All interior finishes would be removed and replaced. Walls would be reconfigured with the exception of load-bearing walls.

                     Accessibility improvements would be needed including a new entry ramp at the front of the building and elevator improvements.

                     Restroom facilities would have to be expanded to meet higher building occupancies and accessibility requirements.

                     In order to meet energy efficiency standards, heating and air conditioning equipment would have to be upgraded and insulation would need to be added to the walls and roof. It was assumed that windows would be replaced to improve energy efficiency.

                     Exterior finishes (roofing and walls) were generally in good condition. Roof support beams do show signs of water damage. Louvers and doors on the south side of the building shows signs of water damage and would need to be replaced.

                     Extensive seismic retrofitting would be needed to meet the current seismic codes.

                     Based on a preliminary LEED check list, a renovated building could easily meet LEED Certified level; LEED Silver could likely be met, but meeting LEED Gold would be challenging.

 

Updated costs for renovation of the Annex first floor are $8.1 M. This is within the cost range that was estimated during the feasibility study.

 

Alternatives for a Public Safety Building Addition

The existing public safety building was completed in 1985 and is a total of 45,000 sq. ft. Since 1985 the roof has been replaced, heating and air conditioning systems have been upgraded and improvements have been made to computer rooms. The building is generally in good condition but too small to meet current and future needs. Since the building was completed in 1985 Sunnyvale’s population has grown from approximately 106,000 to 150,000 and Public Safety staffing has grown from 234 to 283.

 

The City’s 2015 Civic Center feasibility study included a space needs study for all uses including Public Safety. It identified a need for an additional 12,000 sq. ft. and a full renovation of the existing building so spaces could be reconfigured to be more efficient. The feasibility study looked at options for renovation with an addition, or for a new building. Building costs ranged from $65 M to $79 M for the renovation/addition option and $76 M to $94 M for a new building. The 2015 feasibility study evaluated potential funding mechanisms and Council determined that Civic Center improvements would need to be built in phases. The first phase will include a new City Hall and based on funding alternatives there is not sufficient funding to include another major project component (Library or Public Safety). The goal for the Master Plan is to identify alternatives to meet some of the short-term needs identified for Public Safety while recognizing that a full renovation/addition to the existing building or a new building is not possible within funding constraints as part of Phase 1.

 

High priority needs for Public Safety include the following:

                     Dedicated Emergency Operation Center (EOC). The City’s existing EOC is located in the Public Safety building and is shared space with a training and conference space. To function as an EOC the existing space must be set up to provide computers and telephones to staff managing the emergency and is not configured to optimize the flow of information during EOC activation. A new dedicated EOC would be ready to use, configured with adjacent support spaces, and include modern electronic communications equipment. A dedicated EOC could be located within a new addition to the Public Safety Building, the new City Hall or in a different offsite location.

                     Expanded Evidence Storage. Public Safety has run out of space to store evidence. An offsite evidence storage facility is being evaluated as part of separate capital project to study Corporation Yard rehabilitation. Nevertheless, an offsite facility would only be used to store evidence from non-active cases and wouldn’t be suitable for sensitive items such as weapons or controlled substances. Even with an offsite facility, some expansion of the evidence storage areas is needed within the Public Safety building.

                     Expanded Locker Rooms. Both the number of lockers and size of lockers needs to be increased. The equipment used by Public Safety Officers (PSOs) has changed dramatically since the current locker rooms were built. In 1985, bullet proof vests were not routinely worn by PSOs and cell phones, Tasers, and body worn cameras had not been invented. All of these devices need to be charged, which is done at various locations around the building requiring officers to collect their gear prior to the start of a shift. Larger lockers with charging facilities would allow officers to be more efficient with each shift change resulting in more time on patrol or responding to calls for service. The mix of men’s and women’s locker facilities also needs to be adjusted as the composition of the Department changes.

                     Space for the Fire Prevention Unit. Public Safety’s Fire Prevention staff are currently located in the Sunnyvale Office Center, which is planned to be replaced as part of the Civic Center Project. Fire Prevention would ideally be located in the Public Safety Building, but could also function from the new City Hall Building.

                     Crime Lab. The existing crime lab is overcrowded when several PSOs need to use the space at the same time to process evidence. It also contains outdated facilities such as dark room for film processing.

                     Briefing Room. The existing briefing room serves multiple functions including space for writing police reports, mail boxes for PSOs and space for briefing at the beginning of a shift. The space is overcrowded at shift changes and does not provide enough space for computers to write reports.

                     Interview Rooms. The Department currently has only two interview rooms for both crime victims and suspects. An interview room located near the lobby is a very small converted storage space that can only accommodate about three people at a time. The interview room for suspects would ideally be located near the detention facility but is currently located in the detective’s area on the other side of the building. When a suspect is interviewed, they must be escorted through the building to and from the interview room resulting in security risks.

                     Lobby Renovation. The existing lobby is separated from staff by bullet-proof glass requiring telephones for communication. It also lacks adjacent meeting rooms where routine department business could be conducted without bringing visitors into the secure space of the building. In keeping with the Department’s commitment to community policing and the Civic Center’s Vision to welcome the community, a new lobby could be designed to achieve a better balance between security and the accessibility of services.

 

Preliminary sketches have been prepared to illustrate a good location for a possible Public Safety Building addition (See attachment 1). It was assumed to be a two-story building, sized so that the EOC could occupy the entire second floor of the building. This results in a total of approximately 11,000 sq. ft. of added space. Preliminary floor plans were prepared to show the layout of the addition and areas of the existing building that would be reconfigured (See Attachment 2).

 

In the scenario that locates the EOC on the second floor of the addition, the 5,500 sq. ft. first floor would be available to meet some of the other high priority space needs listed above. If the EOC were located in City Hall or another offsite location such as a fire station, all of the priority space needs listed above could be accommodated within the 11,000 sq. ft. addition and the renovation of a portion of the existing building.

 

Estimated cost for the addition and renovations to the existing building is $18.2 million (in 2017 dollars). This includes allowances for site work to partially restore lost parking, landscaping and utilities for the addition. The estimate includes design, construction, and project administration costs.

 

The 2015 Civic Center feasibility study looked at several options to fully renovate and expand the Public Safety Building or to replace it entirely. Estimated costs ranged from $65 M for the lowest cost renovation/addition option to $94 M for the most expensive new building option. The wide range of costs is due primarily to variations in the amount of underground parking assumed by the plan.

 

FISCAL IMPACT

There is no direct fiscal impact from direction provided by Council.  Once the master planning process is complete, approximate costs will be identified and funding will be needed to proceed with further planning efforts and construction of the Civic Center Project. The City’s fiscal strategy for funding Phase 1 of the Civic Center Project is to utilize current City assets. A combination of potential sources has been identified including: issuing debt and paying it back over time with existing revenue streams, utilizing capital reserves, selling City-owned properties not used for City services, charging enterprise funds for their fair share of capital costs, and considering funding from public benefit contributions.

 

PUBLIC CONTACT

Public contact was made by posting the Council agenda on the City's official-notice bulletin board outside City Hall, at the Sunnyvale Senior Center, Community Center and Department of Public Safety; and by making the agenda and report available at the Sunnyvale Public Library, the Office of the City Clerk and on the City's website.

 

ALTERNATIVES

1.                     Direct staff to prepare Master Plan alternatives that will include space for NOVA Workforce Services in the New City Hall Building and to demolish the City Hall Annex Building.

2.                     Direct staff to prepare Master Plan alternatives that include a two-story building addition to the Public Safety Building as part of Phase 1 of the Civic Center Modernization Project.

3.                     Direct staff to evaluate alternatives for the location of a dedicated Emergency Operations Center, including options for it to be part of the new Public Safety Building addition, part of the new City Hall Building, or at another off-site location such as a fire station.

4.                     Provide other direction to staff regarding the preparation of Master Plan alternatives.

 

STAFF RECOMMENDATION

Recommendation

Alternatives 1, 2 and 3: 1) Direct staff to prepare Master Plan alternatives that will include space for NOVA Workforce Services in the New City Hall Building and to demolish the City Hall Annex Building; 2) Direct staff to prepare Master Plan alternatives that include a two-story building addition to the Public Safety Building as part of Phase 1 of the Civic Center Modernization Project; and 3) Direct staff to evaluate alternatives for the location of a dedicated Emergency Operations Center, including options for it to be part of the new Public Safety Building Addition, part of the new City Hall Building, or at another off-site location such as a fire station.

 

Direction from Council on space for NOVA Workforce Services and whether to pursue an addition to the Public Safety Building is needed at this time to inform preparation of Master Plan site alternatives. These decisions will both affect the ultimate size of the new City Hall Building and could affect the future location of parking facilities and circulation elements.

 

Including space for NOVA in the new City Hall Building will cost more but in staff’s view represents the best value for the City given the advantages of this option. It will result in: new more flexible space for NOVA programs; increase shared space at City Hall and the opportunities for community use of the space after hours; increase opportunities for shared parking facilities; and maximize the possibilities for a site layout that will increase open space.

 

Including an addition to the Public Safety Building as part of the Civic Center Project in Phase 1 will relieve overcrowding in the existing building which is now 32 years old. Estimated costs for the partial renovation and addition at $18.2 M are much lower than the alternatives for a full renovation or replacement which ranged from $65 M to $94 M, but can still satisfy many of the high priority space needs for Public Safety.

 

Several options are available for locating a dedicated EOC. Staff intends to do additional research and return to Council during the master planning process to get additional direction.

 

Prepared by: Kent Steffens, Assistant City Manager

Reviewed by: Timothy J. Kirby, Finance Director

Approved by: Walter C. Rossmann, Assistant City Manager for Deanna J. Santana, City Manager

 

ATTACHMENTS

1.                     Location Map for Public Safety Building Addition

2.                     Public Safety Building Preliminary Floor Plan

3.                     Cost Estimate

4.                     City Hall Annex Building Seismic Evaluation

5.                     City Hall Annex Building Assessment