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Civic Center Modernization Project

The Sunnyvale Civic Center, located at the corner of El Camino Real and Mathilda Avenue, is home to the City’s primary administrative facilities (City Hall), Library, and Department of Public Safety Headquarters.

As the population of Sunnyvale has grown, so has the demand for City services and accordingly, the City's office space needs. However, over many years, facilities at the Civic Center have become dated and inefficient. Civic Center buildings range in age between 30 and 60 years old.

In early 2015, the City began an extensive community engagement process to evaluate how facilities at the Civic Center could be renovated or replaced. Through this process, the City developed a Needs Assessment, Vision Statement and Success Criteria for the project that are intended to guide further planning efforts.

In 2017, two Master Plan options for the Civic Center were developed for building placement, site circulation, parking facilities and open space features. In November 2017, the City Council selected Option 1 Plaza as the alternative for further environmental analysis.

In September 2018, Council adopted a resolution to Certify the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), findings required by the California Environmental Quality Act and the Statement of Overriding Considerations and Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program. During this time, Council directed City Staff to proceed with the design for a Net Zero City Hall Building. 

In December 2018, Phase 1 of the Civic Center Project was awarded by Council for Design and Construction Support Services. Phase 1 of the Civic Center Project consists of a New City Hall, New Emergency Operation Center (EOC), Public Safety Building Interior Renovations and Site Improvements. 

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Allison Boyer, Assistant City Engineer, 408-730-7516


Civic Center Phase 1 Project

Report to Council 19-0592, August 27, 2019 - Phase I Civic Center Master Plan Schematic Design Approval

Planning Commission Study Session 19-0724, July 22, 2019 - City Hall Schematic Design Presentation for Comment and Input

On December 4, 2018, City Council awarded a contract for Design and Construction Support Services for Phase 1 of the Civic Center Project. Phase 1 consists of a New City Hall, New Emergency Operation Center (EOC), Public Safety Building Interior Renovations and Site Improvements. In June 2019, the Design Team wrapped up Schematic Design equating to roughly 30% design completion. 

Report to Council 18-1008 Dec. 4, 2018 - SmithGroup Inc. Contract Award for Design and Construction Support Services

Civic Center Phase 1 City Hall Building

Civic Center Phase 1 City Hall Frontage and Plaza

Civic Center Phase 1 Emergency Operation Center

Civic Center Modernization Master Plan

On Sept. 25, 2018, City Council approved the Civic Center Modernization Master Plan and certified the Final Environmental Impact Report. The Master Plan is a long-term, multi-phased implementation plan to modernize and expand the entire Civic Center campus.

Report to Council 18-0799,  Sep. 25, 2018 - Adopt the Civic Center Modernization Master Plan

Stop by City Hall front lobby, located at 456 W. Olive Ave., to view an architectural model of the new Civic Center.

Civic Center Modernization Master Plan (38 MB PDF)

Architectural Model of the Civic Center City Hall Building

View of Civic Plaza and Public Roof Terrace

Council Selection of a Master Plan Alternative for the Civic Center Modernization Project

Report to Council 17-0835, Nov. 7, 2017 - Selection of a Preferred Alternative for the Civic Center Master Plan. The City Council selected Option 1 - Plaza as the preferred alternative for the Civic Center Master Plan. 

Master Plan Option 1 – Plaza


The preparation of a Master Plan for the Civic Center has been completed. Community input was gathered throughout the master planning process. The Master Plan Schedule shows the environmental review process and outreach activities.

Civic Center Master Plan Schedule
Key Work Products to be Developed as Part of the Master Plan


The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires that all state and local government agencies consider the environmental consequences of projects for which they have discretionary authority. An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) has been prepared for the Civic Center Modernization Project.

The Draft Program EIR (DEIR) incorporates relevant information such as the results of the public scoping meeting and technical studies. The DEIR was available for public review and comment for 45 days, from April 23 to June 7, 2018. A Heritage Preservation Commission public hearing was held on May 2, 2018, and a Planning Commission public hearing was held on May 29, 2018, to receive public comments on the DEIR. Hard copies of the Draft Program EIR are available for review at City Hall, the Library and Community Center.

Notice of Availability
Draft Program EIR (14 MB PDF)
Technical Appendices (65 MB PDF)

The Final EIR (FEIR), including the formal Response to Comments and corrections and clarifications to the DEIR is below:

Civic Center FEIR (12 MB PDF)

Public Hearings Schedule

The adequacy of the EIR will be considered at the following public hearings:

City Council Study Session
When: Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 6 p.m.
Where: City Hall, West Conference Room, 456 W. Olive Ave.

The Civic Center Modernization Master Plan and the EIR will be considered at the following public hearing:

City Council Meeting
When: Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.
Where: City Hall, Council Chambers, 456 W. Olive Ave.

A Notice of Preparation of Environmental Impact Report

An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be prepared for the Sunnyvale Civic Center Modernization Master Plan. Two options for the Master Plan, Option 1 and Option 2, are presented in the Notice of Preparation (NOP) of the Draft Program EIR.

The NOP includes:

  • A project description for each option
  • Exhibits (project site plans)
  • Phasing (project stages)
  • An overview of the potential impacts that will be addressed in the Program EIR
  • Overviews of the notice’s purpose and of the environmental review process.

Notice of Preparation

Civic Center Community Workshop Master Plan Alternatives- Oct. 12, 2017

City Council Study Session on Master Plan Alternatives - Sept. 12, 2017
Full Study Session Presentation
Master Plan Concept Drawings

Report to City Council 17-0617, Jul. 25, 2017 - Direction for the Annex Building and a Public Safety Addition

Report to City Council 17-0136, May 23, 2017 - Award of Civic Center Master Planning Contract (includes presentation)

Report to City Council 16-0072, Oct. 25, 2016 - Approval of Master Plan Scope of Work (includes presentation)

Report to City Council 16-0077, May 17, 2016 - Community Survey Results (includes presentation)

Development of Civic Center Land Use Prototypes
Civic Center Land Use Prototypes

2015 Community Outreach Process Results
View the Community Engagement Plan
Civic Center Final Project Report (15 MB)
Focus Group Summaries

Defining Success for the Civic Center Project

In May 2015, the City Council approved a draft Vision Statement, Success Criteria and Needs Assessment. After receiving public input, City Council finalized them.
Vision Statement
Success Criteria
Needs Assessment

Workshop 3: Site Planning Design Charrette - Oct. 3, 2015
Community Site Planning Design Charrette

All Commission Workshop: Site Planning Design Charrette - Aug. 16, 2015
All Commission Workshop Site Planning Design Charrette

Workshop 2: Land Use Options & Space Needs - Jul. 25, 2015
The project developed a needs assessment for the major facilities at the 26-acre Civic Center including the Library, City Hall, and Public Safety Headquarters. It considered how City services are delivered and looked for opportunities to make improvements. The community helped define potential uses for the site and weighed in with their opinion on how space for the community is included in the plan.

Workshop 1: Vision and Success Criteria - Apr. 25, 2015
Meeting Minutes and Public Comments Part 1
Public Comments Part 2


Report to Council 15-0111, Feb. 24 2015 - Community Engagement Plan for the Civic Center Modernization Project
Civic Center Strategic Planning Session - Sept. 2, 2014
Current Civic Center Facilities

Reimagine the Library

Improving library services will be a primary focus of the Civic Center Modernization Project. Even with easy access to information on the internet, Sunnyvale's Library remains a popular destination with residents. On average, the library greets more than 2,000 visitors per day and circulated more than 2.7 million items last year. The current facility's age and space constraints limit services, and the Civic Center Modernization Project presents an opportunity to explore ways to better meet the community's needs.

Expanded Space

Sunnyvale's library has only about half of the space per capita compared to neighboring cities in the county, and is well below the average of 0.76 square feet per capita found in cities surveyed in Alameda, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.


Larger Collection

The challenge of limited space extends to the larger collection as well. Compared to other libraries in the local area, Sunnyvale has half the available materials. While e-books are gaining in popularity, they still only accounted for two percent of the Library's total circulation in Fiscal Year 2013/14.

Total Library Materials Available (per capita)

Program Space

Library program attendance has continued growing to more than 45,000 participants in Fiscal Year 2013/14. Library staff develop programs in response to community demand. For example, more than half of last year's attendees were for programs designed to help preschool children build early literacy skills. A Library designed to accommodate this programming would better serve the community.

Children's Materials

Limited space in the existing Library restricts the number of children's items we can make available, causing Sunnyvale to fall well below local area collections.

An expanded library in Sunnyvale could feature a larger children's area that would allow a bigger collection of books and materials and more space for popular children's programs.

Last Updated: Aug 16, 2019