Friday, June 17, 2016

Monterey planning commission unanimously approves aquarium's ed center

The Monterey Bay Aquarium's proposed education center was officially approved this week by a unanimous vote from the Monterey City Planning Commission.
Designed by San Francisco-based architectural firm Mark Cavagnero Associates, the new four-story $30 million dollar building will include five learning spaces/labs, a multipurpose room, office space for 35 staff members and a video lab. It will also feature an event center located on the top floor and have many features that qualify as “environmentally responsible,” such as solar panels on the roof. It's targeted opening date is for 2018.
“It was a big project approval,” said Kimberly Cole, Chief of Planning and Environmental Compliance for the city. “It's really taking the center of Cannery Row, which is a little dilapidated, and giving it new life.”
Cole said there was quite a bit of discussion at the planning commission meeting Tuesday, with most of it positive. She noted there were seven letters of support and one letter of concern from the New Monterey Neighborhood Association. Concerns centered mainly around the building's height.
“Concerns were about the fourth story height of the building and there was quite a bit of discussion whether the building would be set back from Hoffman Avenue or not,” said Cole. “Those were the two key issues that the neighborhood association was concerned about.”
As Cole explained, the bridge between the two buildings will actually be demolished, opening up the view corridor down Hoffman and the new 25,000 square foot building will be shorter than the current structure.
“What really swayed the planning commission was that the proposed new building will be smaller in height than the existing building that's there now,” she said.
Cole noted that the general mood during the meeting was one of excitement and anticipation for the education center.
“This is something that we've been waiting for for a really long time,” said Cole. “That heart of Cannery Row – we need a center to it.”

No comments:

Post a Comment