We’ve been working on the Lucy Evans Baylands Interpretive Center renovation project since 2015 and it’s finally complete! After navigating through Community meetings, Palo Alto design review, multiple preservation agencies and bay jurisdictions, and yet another bird nesting season, we’re proud to announce the Center is open again to receive it’s annual 130 classes and 80,000 visitors. The project included completely refinishing the dilapidated exterior woodwork including re-siding, renovating the exterior decks and railings, adding bird nesting locations for the local swallows, and renovating the interior to include a much-needed ADA restroom upgrade. In appropriate fashion, the center reopened to the public over earth day weekend. Stay tuned, more photos to come.
Construction is finally underway on our Brentwood Library project. The old 1-story Library building has been completely demolished and site prep has begun. Bids for trade packages come in the coming weeks. The new building is currently scheduled to be complete July of 2018. Stay tuned for updates.
We’ve finally done our yearly check in on our 1+ pro-bono participation and last year our billable hours donated were approximately 8% of our overall. We’ve been blessed to meet and work with some great non-profits, and last year saw projects for ROOT Division and NCTC complete construction. This year we are currently working with Safehouse for the Arts and Artists’ Television Access in San Francisco and United Roots in Oakland. Looking forward to what the new year has to bring, stay tuned for project specific updates!
After many months of discussion, we have finally kicked off a new school project, Lazear Charter Academy in the Fruitvale district in Oakland. Working with one of our favorite clients, Education for Change, and partnering with an Architecture firm we’ve always admired, Pfau Long Architecture, we are excited to get started. The project aims to expand and develop the school’s existing site at 29th Avenue, which consists mostly of modular classroom buildings, with a new 2-story school building. The effort will start with a programming effort and Community outreach to be completed early next. Stay tuned for updates!
A project we’ve been working on since 2014 is starting to see significant progress. We visited Parker Thomas and his 100+ year old Victorian in Alameda this week to check in on that progress. His residential project includes a full basement remodel including seismic upgrade as well as a full attic remodel, including raising the existing roof 3 feet to allow for 3 new bedrooms and 2 baths. Given the historic nature of the project, it was a challenge to get planning approval for the modification in addition to going through the amnesty process for previous non-permitted constructions. The roof framing and sheathing is almost complete, interior framing to follow. The next step will be to move the Thomas family who are occupying the house during construction, to the recently completed basement so the construction team can finish the attic floor and add the new communicating stair.
We Piggies have passed our electrical inspection, and can now finish the interior framed walls – if we can get any drywall contractors to call us back! The construction trades continue to be very busy and difficult to schedule, but we’re making progress by doing as much as we can ourselves, and relying on the mad skillz of Robert, Adam and especially Dave the Electrician. Plaster is finished, and we’re trying to complete painting of gutters and eaves so we can send the scaffolding back and stop paying for it by the day. We have doors now as well! Will Christmas at the Kurihara house actually take place?
After almost 4 years in the making, along with Mark Davis Design, today our Brentwood Library project was submitted for building permit review. We started the project back in early 2013 when the City took a chance on a couple of small firms to lead the renovation of their 5,000 sf project. After a needs assessment, concept and feasibility study, land use and development committee reviews, multiple Planning Commission reviews, and City Council blessings, we are finally nearing time for construction. The Brentwood Library Foundation has created a fundraising video to get folks excited about the new Library you can see here. Demolition of the existing structure on site is set to start before year’s end and construction of the new building is scheduled to be complete Summer of 2018. We’re extremely proud of what we’ve developed working with the City, excited to bring the Community a much needed improved Library facility, and we can’t wait to break ground on the project!
While the swallows are away on their winter sojourn and the Ridgway’s Rails are pausing between nesting seasons – the renovation of Lucy Evans Baylands Interpretive Center has jumped into high gear. Buhler Commercial Construction has already demolished the old restrooms and framed the new ADA-compliant layout. Plywood mats were spread under the building under the watch of a biologist, and the crews must keep to the mats, avoiding high tide as well as any vegetation which might harbor the endangered Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse. The badly-deteriorated decking and siding has been removed, to be replaced with new redwood detailed to last another fifty years. Construction is estimated complete in February 2017.
An update on the East Palo Alto Library, a project we’ve been involved with since 2014. Working with San Mateo County Library, we are underway on a Needs Assessment which will help establish the Library needs of the Community, both in size and service. We’ve completed two Community outreach meetings in which we solicited opinion on how the Library can better serve its users. The Library staff have also conducted a variety of surveys including some very interesting, architectonic endeavors with youngsters tasked with building their “dream” library out of a variety of craft materials. More to come soon!