On March 29, 2007, the Benicia City Council and Benicia Unified School District Board of Trustees entered into a lease agreement whereby the City of Benicia would lease the former Mills Elementary School from the BUSD for use as a community center.
Upon leasing the facility, the City hired Noll and Tam Architects to develop a bid packet and, in an effort to have the project achieve a level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, hired consultant Alice Sung from Greenbank Associates.
In March of 2010 the City, the Good Neighbor Steering Committee and Valero Refining Company, as part of an amendment to the 2008 Valero/Good Neighbor Steering Committee Agreement, approved funding for the construction of the entire project in the amount of $2,850,000, which makes the reality of a new community center much closer!
The new community center will consist of approximately 33,000 square feet and will accommodate after-school programs, preschool programs, teen activities, art programs, senior programs, community meeting space, Girl and Boy Scouts, vocational programs, and much more.
The project is out to bid, and award of the bid should occur in early August 2010. If all goes well construction would begin in late August 2010, with an opening of the new community center in May/June 2011.