The city continues to invite residents to weigh in on how they might refashion the San Marino Center, amid plans to offer a first look at a rendering on Sept. 9.
Residents will get two cracks at public input on Monday, Aug. 24 — a Crowell Public Library Board of Trustees meeting at 7:30 a.m. and a 6 p.m. town hall meeting — and also will have a chance to offer opinions at the San Marino Planning Commission meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26. Parks and Public Works Director Michael Throne, Planning and Building Director Aldo Cervantes and other city officials will be on hand to take questions and comments, alongside representatives from Crane Architectural Group, which is working on the design for the proposed remodel.
Thus far, presentations have been made at another town hall meeting and to the Lacy Park Landscape Committee, Rotary Club of San Marino, San Marino City Club, Chinese Club of San Marino and the city Design Review Committee. Crane plans on factoring community input into the design it will bring to the City Council, which will decide whether to move forward with the project.
The city also has established a committee that will work with Crane throughout that process as well as monitor the building process, which is expected to begin as early as next year; construction bidding is slated to open in January, and the city expects the work to cost around $4 million.
Committee members are Al Boegh, Raymond Cheng, John Chou, Toby Chou, Steve Domier, Jaime Gertmenian, Jennifer Giles, Angela Liang and Calvin Lo. This group will communicate with Vice Mayor Ken Ude, Councilman Steve Talt and City Manager Marcella Marlowe.
As one of the City Council’s priority initiatives for the current fiscal year, the rehabilitation of the San Marino Center is expected to pave the way for the relocation of the municipal Recreation Department, which continues to use the century-old Stoneman School building as its headquarters. In renovating the facility, the city aims not only to bring it up to code and modernize its utilities, but also reshape the interior to better serve recreation programming and local civic groups that rent out the space for meetings and events.
The building was constructed in 1952 as the location for the San Marino Woman’s Club and was sold to the city in 2005. The Woman’s Club has continued to use the space for meetings, as have groups like the San Marino City Club. Congresswoman Judy Chu typically hosts her annual Women of the Year event there and the annual Police and Fire Appreciation Luncheon, put on by the city’s Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club, also takes place there.
More recently, in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City Council has been holding its meetings there because it is allows so well for social distancing.
A video tour of the San Marino Center, an online comment form and the city’s report on the re-envisioning of the Recreation Department can all be found online at cityofsanmarino.org/government/departments/planning___building/san_marino_center_renovation.php