Town Center Project Activity Blog

This is a Blog for the Civic Center Project. Entries involve updates to the project, photos, video links, and other information relevant to the Project. 

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Feb 28

Town Center Update - January 23, 2020

Posted on February 28, 2020 at 11:27 AM by grodericks grodericks

Atherton Town Center - Project Activity

A lot has transpired in the last month with the Project. Most of the utility work has been completed; the mock-up of the rammed earth wall was completed and finalized; work began on the pad for the new library; and the Police Department Ancillary Building began to take shape. 

Live webcams for
and City Hall/PD Building are active on the Town's website. There is also a project progress photo gallery

City Hall and Police Building

City_Hall_2The photo to the right is an image from December looking across the City Hall and Police Building toward the location for the new Police Ancillary Building in their Secure Parking Lot - toward Caltrain.

The single-story, concrete masonry unit (CMU) building will be used to store:

  • Stolen Evidence/Vehicles
  • Property Storage
  • Fleet Maintenance
  • Police Motorcycles
  • Special Operations/Emergency Equipment
  • Emergency Generator & Power Equipment
The image below is from today (January 2020). The CMU walls for the building have been constructed. Entry door gaps can be seen along the front of the building. This is the side of the building that will face interior to the Police Department Secure Parking Lot. As construction continues, the view will change as the new building begins to go vertical in front of the Ancillary Building.
Full Town Hall Site
Below is a Site Plan for the full project. 


Historic Town Hall

Interior work of the Historic Town Hall building is further down in the project timeline. Current work for the building included a review of the interior wood construction for dry rot and installation of rebar at perimeters for the beginnings of earthquake retrofit of the foundation.

This building will ultimately become a part of the new Library connected via a deck and french doors that spill out from the side of the building onto the new deck. 

Library Building

LibraryMost of the work this week focused on the installation of geotextile fabric and crushed rock for the slab work. Over the next week, the contractor will form and place rebar for the slab and begin to form walls. The image to the right was from December 2019.

The image below is the similar view from January 2020.

Full Library Site

REW_FormsAlong the left site of the Library Building (you can see the base forms in the image above) and a portion of the rear wall will be sections of Rammed Earth Walls. A rammed earth wall is constructed by "ramming" a mixture of selected aggregates, including gravel, sand, silt and a small amount of clay, into place between flat panels called formwork. The image to the left here shows the formwork of the rammed earth mock-up. The mock-up was constructed per the plan specifications to test construction methods and appearance. The image below is the completed mock-up with the forms removed. 


Rammed earth walls provide better thermal protection by absorbing or slowing down the passage of heat through the material. On average, a rammed earth wall will help regulate the building's interior temperatures improving its energy performance. In addition, the rammed earth wall will have sound reverberation characteristics that will improve sound insulation from passing trains. 

Site Work

Site work this week finished up connections for storm drains and water lines. Work also continued on the installation of the chilled water line connections between the two buildings.

Once underground site work completes and steel begins to arrive on site, the buildings will begin to go vertical and take shape.

Here's a view of the new entrance to City Hall coming in off of Fair Oaks Lane. Administration Offices are on the right. The first floor will be Town Administration and the Post Office. The second floor is the Building, Planning, and Public Works Departments. The bottom and top floors on the left are the Police Department. Secure Parking Lot entry is off to the left of the main building. 

The Look Ahead

Work Areas for the Week of January 27
  • Installation of underground electrical from Ancillary Building to Main Building
  • Installation of slab forms for Main Building
  • Regrade and Clean-up Pad for Main Building
  • Installation of Rebar @ Rammed Earth Wall Locations for Library
  • Completion of Vapor Barrier @ Library
  • Form Lower Slab @ Library
  • Complete Underslab Electrical @ Ancillary Building
  • Install Ledger Boards @ Ancillary Building
Work Areas for the Week of February 3
  • Complete underground electrical from Ancillary Building to Main Building
  • Begin work on Main Building Pad (Geotextile Fabric/Crushed Rock)
  • Form and Pour Lower Slab @ Library
  • Set Structural Steel @ Ancillary Building

Project Financials

 Payment Request Period Town Share Library Share Total
Payment Request #1 June 2019 $983,533 $538,622 $1,522,155
Payment Request #2 July 2019 $540,673 $587,037 $1,127,711
Payment Request #3 August 2019 $605,478 $972,754 $1,578,232
Payment Request #4 September 2019 $997,235 $638,317 $1,635,551
 Payment Request #5 October 2019 $969,456 $252,633 $1,222,089
 Payment Request #6 November 2019 $1,318,002 $341,692 $1,659,694
 Payment Request #7 December 2019 $1,346,738 $555,978 $1,902,716
Totals   $6,761,115 $3,887,034 $10,648.149
Initial Project Bid   $28,701,034 $18,375,966 $47,077,000
Net Change Orders   $41,532 $73,410 $114,952
Updated Project Cost   $28,742,566 $18,449,376 $47,191,942
% Complete based on $   24% 21% 23%
Target Based on 25-Month Schedule   28%

George Rodericks
City Manager