On Tuesday, April 23, Atherton officials and community members will gather for a groundbreaking ceremony for a new town civic center with police, administration, and building and planning offices plus a library.
In June, town officials were knocked for a loop when the lowest of the only two bids submitted to build the new town complex was 40 percent more than estimated -- nearly $15 million above budget.
But revising plans and opening bids to more contractors paid off this spring with four new bids, three of which were between $3.1 and $3.8 million below the new $48 million estimate.
Work to prepare the site for construction will start days after the ceremony, which will be held at 3 p.m. in front of the town offices at 91 Ashfield Road.
Arborists plan to start removing trees and shrubs that won't be part of the new civic center the week of April 29.
Town employees will also be packing to move to temporary quarters in Holbrook-Palmer Park. The last City Council meeting in the historic council chambers, which will be renovated as part of the new library, is May 15. During construction, town meetings will be in the park's Jennings Pavilion, carriage house or main house.
Town employees will start moving into the park in May. The contractor is scheduled to start fencing off the site of the new civic center by early June.