In the aftermath of the devastating 2010 Pacific, Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) gas pipeline explosion, which destroyed 38 homes, damaged over 70 and killed 8 people in San Bruno's Crestmoor neighborhood, the City negotiated a restitution settlement with PG&E in the total amount of $70 million. The City Council determined that the funds should be used for the long-term, enduring benefit of the entire San Bruno community. In 2013, consistent with the terms of the settlement agreement between the City and PG&E, the City established the independent not-for-profit San Bruno Community Foundation (SBCF) to manage the restitution settlement funds and to oversee use of the funds.
In 2015, SBCF sponsored a broad-based Community Listening Campaign to identify the community's priorities for use of the restitution settlement funds. The Community Listening Campaign identified the community's highest priorities to be the replacement and/or addition of new community facilities to support delivery and expansion of community programs and services. The specific community facilities listed as priorities through the Listening Campaign were a new Library, Recreation Center and Swimming Pool to replace existing facilities, and a new Community Center to meet the community's need for meeting and community gathering/event space. Following completion of the Listening Campaign, SBCF identified its intent that $50 million of the restitution settlement funds would be dedicated for design and construction of one or more community facilities.
In 2016, recognizing that $50 million would not be sufficient to construct all of the facilities the community had identified as priority needs, the City conducted a subsequent facilitated community discussion process to identify which among the four community facilities discussed should proceed to design and construction as the community's highest priority for use of the $50 million allocated by SBCF. That process concluded in February 2017 with the San Bruno City Council's approval of the Community Facility Prioritization report which identified replacement of the Recreation Center and Aquatics Center as the community's highest priorities.
The new Recreation Center and Aquatic Center is planned as a single project to be located in San Bruno City Park, 251 City Park Way, in the same general area as the existing San Bruno Swimming Pool and Veterans Memorial Recreation Center. The City of San Bruno worked with Group 4 Architects to develop the strategic conceptual design, including the public outreach process, as well as the schematic design and construction drawings. Construction of the new Recreation and Aquatics Center began in September 2021 and is expected to be completed during Fall 2023.