New Civic Center

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, genereated 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.

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.

The first City Council workshop should take place in September 2017. Please check our website for exact dates.

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 Administratice 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 desing the new Civic Center has begun. It is anticipated construction will commence summer 2018 with occupancy in the Summer/Fall 2020.