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Frequently Asked Questions




What was the cost of the project?
The total project budget is $117.5 million, with $84.4 million for building construction costs.  On Jan. 31, 2005, the City Council awarded the contract for the project to Clark Construction Group. The project was completed under budget and ahead of time.  For more information on the scope of the work undertaken as part of the project see Construction - Project Overview.

How was the project funded?
Project funds were secured through a combination of local tax revenues, the sale of bonds and an increase in the percentage of electricity revenues that were annually transferred from the city's light and power fund to the general fund. The project was supplemented with grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the State of California and contributions from individuals  (see Grants & Fundraising).

What activities were included in the overall project?
The move-out and move-in of employees and offices; the seismic upgrade and historic restoration of the building; the repair or replacement of infrastructure; the addition of new safety systems, including fire sprinklers; new and upgraded elevators, and improvements to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The project scope also includes protection of the trees in the courtyard and trees surrounding  City Hall.

When was the project completed?
The project was completed, and employees fully reoccupied City Hall by July 2007.

Why did City Hall need a Seismic Retrofit?
Extensive study conducted over the past 15 years revealed that City Hall would not  withstand an earthquake of 7.0 on the Sierra Madre fault or 8.0 or higher on the San Andreas fault without destruction of the building and possible loss of life. An earthquake of that magnitude is predicted by Caltech scientists within the next 30 years.  As a result, in 2003 the City Council approved a plan for the seismic retrofit, historic restoration and infrastructure upgrade that will ensure that City Hall will continue to stand proud and serve the community for the next 100 years. In January 2005, the City Council approved Clark Construction Group as the building contractor for the project. Construction began in March 2005 and was completed in June 2007.

What is a Base Isolator?
The type of base isolator to be used for City Hall is a 'friction pendulum' type isolator, with a steel ball that will float between two concave metal plates (looking much like a hamburger between two buns). These units were installed beneath the building columns. During an earthquake, the isolators will allow the ground to move independently below the building structure, which will reduce the tremors that are experienced by the building and its occupants while safeguarding the historic building from earthquake damage.  Please click here for more information on the City Hall building's base isolation system.