Construction on the long-awaited first phase of the Veterans Memorial Building/Senior Center-YMCA project at Red Morton Park in Redwood City is set to start in July and last about 24 months, according to city staff.
The first phase of the project includes building a two-story, 45,000 square foot Veterans Memorial Building/Senior Center along Madison Avenue that features multipurpose rooms, a caterer and food demonstration kitchen, a 299-seat theater, exhibit space honoring veterans, NFL alumni exhibit space, pickle ball and half-court basketball gymnasium, wellness and adaptive physical education studios, rooftop garden and walking track, and various conferencing and administrative space for city staff and nonprofits, according to city documents.
The first phase “also includes the construction of a public promenade connected to the park, a new east side senior center parking lot and traffic calming improvements on Madison and on Valota,” the city said.
On Monday, the City Council of Redwood City approved awarding the first-phase contract to Novato-based Thompson Builders Corp. for $51.1 million, with the option of increasing the contract amount by 10 percent if necessary. The City Council also approved the sale of bonds for $64.5 million to finance the first phase of construction.
The second phase of the project will include construction of a new YMCA building, plus parking, and will be financed by the YMCA.
The Veterans Memorial Building/Senior Center-YMCA project has been the works for over a decade and was further delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in 2010, both the city, which has been operating out of aging Veterans Memorial Senior Center Campus buildings at Red Morton Park, and Sequoia YMCA, currently located on Hudson Street, expressed interest in upgrading their respective facilities, and ultimately decided to partner on a joint project at Red Morton Park.
The project will replace five separate buildings in the northern portion of Red Morton Park, including the existing Veterans Memorial Senior Center, the Gift Shop/VMSC Administration Building, the Senior Center Annex (“Old 49er Building”), the NFL Alumni Building, and Herkner Pool.
“All of these buildings are at various stages of decay, are inefficient in terms of energy usage, require significant maintenance obligations, and are inefficient to staff and for facility operations,” city staff said.
Image rendering of future Veterans Memorial Senior Center Campus courtesy of the city