ALAMEDA -- The Planning Board will take up a revised design for the proposed Emergency Operations Center on Grand Street when it meets Monday.

Along with enough space for up to 50 first responders to gather after a major earthquake or other disaster, the two-story building will house a disaster preparedness office and have a diesel generator so it can remain in operation in the event of a power failure.

The design changes, which include more trees and narrowing the width of a driveway, are aimed at addressing issues that were raised when the board considered the project in January.

Construction of the 3,640-square-foot center, which is expected to cost about $2.8 million, could begin as early as this spring, according to city officials. The overall project site totals 25,245 square feet and will include an 11-space parking lot and two driveways.

The changes that will go before the board on Monday include reducing one driveway from 20 feet to 12 feet; installing pilasters and a gate that will display the building's address and a call button; and an 8-foot redwood fence with lattice along the rear of the property to protect the privacy of neighbors.

The new design also includes parking for four bicycles.

As well as the proposed emergency center, the site plan provides for another building to replace Fire Station 3 on Grand Street, a project that still must undergo a separate design review.


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Construction of the new fire station, which would face Buena Vista Avenue and total about 8,860 square feet, is expected to begin in 2015, City Planner Andrew Thomas said.

The City Council's decision to replace the current emergency center in the Alameda Police Department basement follows city voters rejecting a ballot measure in June 2012 that would have raised the local sales tax to pay for the project.

As a result, the City Council voted to secure the money by extending and refinancing lease revenue bonds, or Certificates of Participation, that were originally issued in 2002 for seismic and other upgrades at City Hall.

The current Station 3 on Grand Street has been closed for more than a decade because the building is not earthquake safe. Currently, firefighters assigned to the station, which mostly serves the center of the Island, work out of a neighboring former family home that the city rents.

The proposed emergency center was designed by Brown Reynolds Watford, an architectural firm in San Francisco.

The two-story facility will have an elevator serving the upper floor and off-street parking. Along with space for first responders to gather, the building will have a disaster preparedness office, a communications and conference room, a technology equipment room and restrooms with showers.

City officials support the design changes and are recommending the board approve the architectural plan.

Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty.

IF YOU GO
The Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 2263 Santa Clara Ave.