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Civic Center Information

The City of Newark recently passed a ballot measure in November 2016 that raises the sales tax by one-half cent. It is the intent of City Council to use a portion of the proceeds, generated by this tax, towards the building of a new Civic Center. This center will consist of three new buildings which will house the Police Department, the City Administration, and Library.

The City has completed The Newark Civic Center Feasibility Study that addressed the replacement of the existing Civic Center Buildings. The Feasibility Study process included significant public and policy maker input. The Feasibility Study established the building program, evaluated numerous sites, and developed a conceptual site plan and massing for the buildings. More information on the feasibility study can be found at: Feasibility Study.

The vision for the new Civic Center is that it becomes more than a place to do the City’s business; the Civic Center will be a source of pride and community identification. It will include a safe, efficient, customer-friendly office space for City administrative functions. Along with a police station/emergency dispatch center, Council Chambers, a world class library, and the Civic Center plaza that will serve as a multi-function event space.

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Update 4/26/18

On April 19, 2018 City Council accepted the conceptual design presented by our team of architects. The conceptual design was originally introduced to City Council on September 19th and again on December 7th. The feedback obtained from City Council and the public has been incorporated into the final conceptual design presented on April 19th.  The design consists of a site plan, including a landscape plan, the overall design of the three new buildings, including floor plans, and the remodel of the existing library. The presentation along with three fly-through animations can be found on our website.

April 19, 2018 presentation

City Hall fly-through

Library fly-through

City Council has authorized the architects to move forward in developing the bridging documents that will be used to solicit proposals for a design-build team. The design-build team will be composed of an architect and general contractor on the same team. Working together, they will complete the construction documents.

Construction is anticipated to begin in the summer of 2019 with a move in date of late December 2020 and early 2021. During construction, the parking on site will be limited to visitor parking. The City has come to an agreement with the Newark Pavilion to rent parking spaces during the duration of construction for City and Library employee parking. The walk from the Newark Pavilion parking lot to the City Administration Building takes approximately six minutes. The City has also began working with a furniture provider on preliminary workstation layouts.

Update 1/24/18

The Civic Center architects presented their revised design concepts incorporating feedback received from City Council, the public and City staff during the December 7th public City Council Work Session.

The updated drawings include floor plans for all three new buildings and the reuse of the existing library and site work.  Heller Manus, the primary architect, introduced a concept for displaying the stained glass currently installed in the existing tower in the exterior walls of all three new buildings. The updated plans presented during the December 7th City Council Work Session can be seen below:

December 7, 2017 presentation

The project architects are now developing final schematic drawings and will submit to the City for a Preliminary Plan Review (PPR).  The PPR process allows for technical review of the drawings by various divisions in the City including Engineering, Planning, Building Maintenance, and Fire Prevention.  City staff comments resulting from this review will be incorporated into the final schematic plans and then presented to City Council for their review and approval.  The public is welcome to attend the presentation.  It is anticipated that City Council review will occur in late February.

Update 11/15/17

The first conceptual design was presented to City Council and the community on September 19th. The valuable feedback given by the City Council and community is being utilized in shaping the design of the new Civic Center.

In addition to the exterior of the buildings, the architects have been developing floor plans that meet the needs of each of the building’s users.  The floor plan for City Hall includes a functional space for City employees, a customer friendly one-stop-shop for Development Services, and a large and inviting Council Chamber.

Safdie Rabines Architects has designed a floor plan for the library with a sun lit children’s area on the first floor and a dedicated teen area and quiet adult area on the second floor.  The library will have a large community room facing the Civic Center plaza that will be available to rent for library activities and various community functions.  

Newark Police Department command staff has spent numerous hours working with the architect, McClaren, Wilson and Lawrie, Inc., and City staff to design a police department building that will support the operational needs of the City.

The original Feasibility Study designated the police building as a two story structure.  However, while designing the floor plan for the police department, it became apparent that the building would function better as a one story building.  The Feasibility Study showed the existing library as remaining but no use had been attributed to it.  It has been decided to repurpose the existing library to house some police functions and create several large community rooms.

The next City Council Work Session to review the design is scheduled for December 7th at 6pm in the Council Chambers.  The public is invited to attend.


Update 9/25/17

On September 19th, Heller Manus Architects along with Safdie Rabines Architects, McClaren, Wilson and Lawire, Inc., and Thuilot Associates presented the first conceptual design of the new Newark Civic Center at the City Council work session.

The presentation included the proposed site plan, a look at the Civic Center plaza and promenade, and the conceptual design for the exterior of the buildings. The work session also opened the discussion on the proposed reuse of the existing library. The architects are proposing the existing library be used to house some police department functions and several community rooms.

The valuable input given by City Council and the public will be taken into consideration and studied further. For those who were not able to attend, the full presentation is below.

The next Council work session is planned for early November. Please follow along for current updates on Facebook.

Update 7/25/17

Heller Manus Architects and their team of architects have begun the design process. Their team includes Safdie Rabines Architects, a San Diego based architectural firm that will be focusing their efforts on designing the new Newark library. McClaren, Wilson and Lawrie, Inc., an architectural firm that has designed over 200 public safety facilities, will be focusing on the new Newark Police Department building. Heller Manus is working on the overall site plan as well as City Hall.

All three firms are working on refining the programs for their respective buildings. The programming phase is the first step in the design process and consists of the architect organizing the customers space needs (including adjacencies), budget, all local code and zoning requirements and overall vision for the project. All three architects are asking both quantitative questions (i.e. how many staff does this department have?) and qualitative questions (i.e. how does this process work? do these offices need to have direct access for the public). They will use the combination of this information to assign square footages to each area and come up with a design that is not only aesthetically pleasing but functional as well.

Safdie Rabines Architects met with City staff and representatives from Alameda County Library to gather additional programming information. They took tours of our current Newark library and two other Alameda County libraries. Safdie Rabines now has enough information to embark on the design of a building that will meet the needs of Newark residents and its visitors.

McClaren, Wilson & Lawrie, Inc. spent two days in Newark meeting with City staff and various police department personnel. They gathered information on the police department’s operational needs for the new building. McClaren was able to offer new and current suggestions based off of their experience with public safety buildings and are currently working on the next phase.

Heller Manus continues to meet with City staff regarding the site plan, programming of the City Hall building, and overall project.

Update 5/4/17

After a lengthy and comprehensive procurement process, the City Council, in their April 27th meeting selected the firm of Heller Manus Architects as the design architects for the new Newark Civic Center. Heller Manus has extensive experience creating civic and public buildings and has assembled an impressive team of consultants that includes experts in their fields. McClaren, Wilson & Lawrie, Inc., the consultant for the police building, has completed 275 public safety facilities across the nation. Safdie Rabines Architects, the consultant for the library, has completed several library and community room projects. Heller Manus designed the Hayward City Hall. Heller Manus Architects are committed to creating the right design for Newark that will showcase the community and provide a greatly needed state of the art police, library and City administrative buildings as well outdoor gathering spaces. The design work is scheduled to begin this month.

The City recently contracted with Kier and Wright Civil Engineers and Surveyors, Inc., to complete the Boundary and Topographic Surveys and Underground Utility Locating Services of the current and future site of the Newark Civic Center. The work was completed in February 2017.

As was described in the Civic Center Feasibility Study completed last year, the new Civic Center will be located on the same site as the existing Civic Center. The current police, library and City administration offices will remain open throughout the construction process. The design of the overall Civic Center site will incorporate features that will allow City and library staff to continue to provide uninterrupted and quality service to the community during construction.

There will be a number of City Council and community workshops to review the design work as it progresses. The first workshop will occur during the summer of 2017. Please continue to check our website for periodic updates and future City Council and public design review workshop dates.

Update 1/26/17

The new Civic Center will be built on the current City Administration Building and Library Site. During construction the Library, Police Department, and City Administrative offices will continue to be occupied. Once the new buildings can be occupied the existing City Administration building will be demolished. The existing Library building will remain and be repurposed at a later date.

The search for an architectural firm who will design the new Civic Center has begun. It is anticipated construction will commence summer 2018 with occupancy in the Summer/Fall 2020.

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