How does the average person benefit from the project?
A joint Veterans Memorial Senior Center-YMCA Project will provide the Redwood City community with a new, multi-generational resource for complete health, community gathering, and enrichment opportunities. The current facilities – while valued by the community – are at maximum capacity, aging, and in need of costly repairs and accessibility upgrades. The partnership between Redwood City and the Y will complement and expand the existing network of recreational resources, engage and inspire the community to be healthy and active, and promote volunteerism.
How has public input shaped the project?
Feedback from stakeholders and the public has been instrumental in refining the master plan, and defining the projects guiding principles. The principles, listed below, reflect the community’s priorities and critical amenities and services that will make the new Veterans Memorial Senior Center and Sequoia YMCA a multi-generational community resource for all.
Preserve park space and mature trees
Offer diverse mobility and extensive transportation options
Provide smart circulation to minimize parking and traffic impacts
Enhance diversity of uses and users
Offer recreation, fitness, wellness, arts, and community programming for all ages
How has the proposal changed since it was last presented to the public?
The new Veterans Memorial Senior Center will include many of the same features, services, and amenities which community members currently use and enjoy. Similarly, the Y is considering a revised design that will preserve the same activities Y members enjoy today. Based on community input, the design proposal aims to provide better integration of the new facilities within Red Morton Park, preserving valued open green space and responding to community input about project impacts.
How is parking being addressed?
Traffic circulation is being studied as part of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) environmental review process and parking will be guided by requirements of the City. The final design will address traffic and parking in a holistic way, utilizing parking capacity all around the park and examining implementation of alternative transportation modes, including improved pedestrian and bicycle accessibility, vouchers for ride hailing services, and city-operated vans and other circulators.
How will the project be funded?
The Veterans Memorial Senior Center and the YMCA project will be funded independently from one another. The City and the Y will split common costs (such as parking and landscape improvements) and each entity will pay for its own building. Redwood City has identified existing bond money in addition to impact fees, which are collected from developers building in the city.
The Y will leverage its ability to bring significant capital resources to support the new project and conduct a fundraising campaign to pay for its portion. The Y may progress along a different timeline than the Veterans Memorial Senior Center.
How will the project integrate with Red Morton Park?
Improving the integration of the Veterans Memorial Senior Center with Red Morton Park is a priority for the project and the revised design proposal will preserve valued open green space.
Is the Veterans building a historic resource?
Two historic reports have been completed, and while the architect of the original Veterans Memorial Senior Center, Birge Clark, is regarded as a local pioneer, the existing Veterans Memorial Senior Center doesn’t reflect his best-known work. Furthermore, historical analysis indicates many of the architectural features of the building’s façade are obscured by the Resource Building (Administration and Gift Shop) and other additions to the area, and that there are no historical Redwood City community members specifically honored by the building. Rebuilding the facility is the preferred plan, however, the City Council and various City commissions and committees will provide their insight regarding this preferred plan and ways to honor the great history of the veterans’ community and Veterans Memorial Senior Center building. The environmental analysis will test the preferred plan and an option to renovate the existing Veterans Memorial Senior Center.
What about aquatic programs?
Herkner Pool is an aging facility that is need of significant renovation. It was also designed as a seasonal pool with outdoor showers. The Y is envisioning a new aquatics center that will be an asset for the community and provide year-round aquatics programming.
What has the public process been to date? Where are we now?
Initially, the City and the Y were pursuing individual projects. The City long-planned to update the 1950’s era Veterans Memorial Senior Center, and YMCA of Silicon Valley was exploring expansion of its Hudson Street building by seeking a new location that would provide adequate space.
Two distinct proposals were originally offered. Then the City and the Y began working together to determine if a partnership would improve the potential outcome. Following months of conceptual discussions, several public forums and community meetings, and a robust environmental review which is underway, the decision was made to rebuild and reimagine these facilities together.
Factors which informed the final decision included cost, projected usage, results of impact studies, and feedback from the public and stakeholders. Specifics can be found at www.redwoodcity.org/CityYMCAProject.
What is being proposed?
Redwood City, in partnership with YMCA of Silicon Valley, is proposing a reimagination of the Veterans Memorial Senior Center and Sequoia YMCA (the Y) to meet the changing healthy living, recreational and social needs of seniors, veterans, youth, and families.
The City and the Y share a common vision to enhance the community’s quality of life by expanding health and wellness opportunities, and believe this project will leverage each entity’s strengths and experience. The new senior center will replace the aging Veterans Memorial Senior Center with new community resources and gathering places, and the new Y will include a health and wellness center, aquatics center, child care, flexible multi-use rooms and expanded programming and services for all ages.
What is the YMCA’s history in Redwood City?
The Sequoia YMCA has been an important community resource in Redwood City since 1925, partnering with local schools and other community organizations to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve healthy lifestyles for people of all ages, and encourage social responsibility. There are currently about 3,000 members at Sequoia YMCA. In addition, YMCA of Silicon Valley operates nine other health and wellness facilities in Silicon Valley and offers programs on 300 school campuses. The Y is an important community financial partner in Redwood City by keeping 100% of donated dollars within the immediate community. Each year, Sequoia YMCA provides more than a quarter million dollars in financial assistance and program subsidies to Redwood City residents, ensuring the availability of Y programs and services to those in need.
Why are these improvements needed? What is included in the proposal?
The improvements are necessary both to allow the Redwood City community continued access to vital recreation, fitness, and enrichment resources, and to improve Redwood City’s infrastructure and meet the demands of a growing community. New features under consideration for the new Veterans Memorial Senior Center include a new theater, new mini-gym, flex spaces, and a learning kitchen and dining facility. The new Y will include an aquatics center, wellness center, multi-generational program spaces and an early childhood learning center. Together, the new Veterans Memorial Senior Center-YMCA Project will be a holistic complex where the entire Redwood City community can come together.
Will fees be required? Do you have to be a member of the Y to use all of the facilities?
The Veterans Memorial Senior Center will keep its free and low-cost programs for all who depend on them. The YMCA will continue to serve the community through programs and membership engagement, with the availability of financial assistance and program subsidies for those in need. The goal remains to provide the broadest possible access for the greatest number of community members, ensuring that costs are reasonable, and that financial assistance is available to those in need.
Will senior services continue during construction? Will the existing fields and facilities remain open during construction?
Programming will continue during construction, as will activity at the nearby fields. Only a small portion of the park will be impacted – during or after construction – and the new facilities will be located primarily within the footprint of existing buildings.
The City and the Y will continue to work with the Redwood City Swim Club and NFL Alumni Association to ensure their needs are met.
Will the project be designed to LEED® standards? What about energy efficiency?
Yes. The new Veterans Memorial Senior Center and YMCA project will aim for a LEED® certification with a focus to conserve natural resources and to reduce the project’s carbon footprint while striving to achieve zero net energy usage. Not only is this good for the environment, but it can provide savings in the operational cost of the facility.
Will the project improve accessibility?
The new Veterans Memorial Senior Center-YMCA Project proposal will include Universal Design criteria, vastly improving upon current conditions and delivering an ADA accessible and code compliant project.