Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Tour of the Civic Center

The basement is used for classroom and meeting space
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On December 4th, 2012, we were invited by the Assistant City Manager, Mr. Robert Walker, to tour some of the buildings at the Civic Center.  Mr. Walker wanted to show us the condition of the buildings and the space problems facing the city employees. 

We started out at the City Hall.  In the basement, in spite of the low ceiling and no windows, rooms had been furnished for computer training and for storing files.  

Basement Storage
There was a problem with water leakage into the room with the files so the floor had been built up.  Upstairs again, we were able to see the offices beyond the Building Permit area.  In square footage some of the offices were somewhat lacking.  In one larger area, cubicles had been set up.

From there we went to the South Annex which was put together in 1994 from seven modular units as temporarily added space.  Mr. Walker pointed out as we walked up to the building that the skirt of the building (where the building meets the sidewalk) was beginning to rot.  Inside he explained that the restrooms were a problem because they are in immediate adjacency to the offices.  Two offices were closed due to termites.  At certain times, one can actually see them in full activity.

Courtyard in "Rabbit Hutches" Office Space
Court yard in "Rabbit Hutches"
We then walked over to the Sunnyvale Office Center which the city had purchased in 2001.  These are affectionately referred to as the "rabbit hutches."  Not all of the offices are occupied.  Even those which are occupied are not all being used by city workers.  Some have been rented out privately. Mr. Walker could not tell us how many city employees were in these office spaces at the present time because the numbers fluctuate according to need.
Basement Storage in "Rabbit Hutches"
Mr. Walker said that the problem is not really space but rather the arrangement of that space.  The City Manager would like to have certain offices in the near vicinity, ie.the same building.  As is now the case, the employees are sometimes walking across Olive Ave. to see the City Manager.

At the Office Center we were made aware of the modulating roof which would be extremely costly to repair, of the wood rot and of the fact that the complex is not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible.  The restrooms are very simple but functional.  We were led into the basement which has some leakage problems as in the basement of the City Hall.  We were shown a duct which has holes it it where water and muck accumulates. 

Ducting in the Basement is Very Loud

Rot in Roof of "Rabbit Hutches"

It should also be stated here that during a meeting of the Neighborhood Association chairmen/women in the fall of 2012, Mr. Walked stated that the city had neglected to repair the buildings at the Civic Center in the last ten years.  This has been due to the indecision by the city as to what to do with the Civic Center...renovation or new construction.