The following article appeared in the Pasadena Star-News on June 6, 2015.
Claremont council to review deal for a Foothill Gold Line station – Pasadena Star-News
By Liset Marquez
June 6, 2015
CLAREMONT >> The City Council is expected to review a cooperative agreement later this month with the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority which will outline the working relationship between the construction authority and Claremont, said Habib Balian, executive director of the authority.
Balian updated the council, during a meeting last month, on the progress being made with the light-rail project and the proposed station in Claremont.
The Claremont station involves plans to relocate the Metrolink station to east of College Avenue, building a shared 1,100-space parking structure and then building the Foothill Gold Line station on the site of the current Metrolink station. There will be four tracks, with the two light rail tracks on the north side.
“Things are going really well for the Gold Line, and a lot of that is Habib,” said Councilman Sam Pedroza.
The authority is moving forward with the advanced engineering phase for its light rail system, which would bring the line from Los Angeles via Pasadena to the Montclair transit center. Officials have set aside $36 million for the initial design of that extension.
“We’re going to turn the spigot on on $36 million work of design,” Balian said. “We want to make sure we have a way of working with (Claremont) to get the design approved and to give us some confidence, which even when we get the general contractor on board, that we have a system of approval for the turnaround of documents and engineering plans with the city.”
The goal is to break ground on the extension by 2017, but Balian said it would depend on a sales tax measure which will go to Los Angeles County voters in November 2016.
“We are looking for nearly $1.2 billion through the next sales tax initiative,” Balian said. “We have all the funding necessary to get the design done and all the work done to be shovel-ready, but we won’t have the construction dollars until the sales tax initiative is approved.”
Each of the six stations in the Azusa-to-Montclair portion of the Foothill Gold Line would have its own art piece and its own theme.
The city has selected, through its own progress, artist Joyce Kohl to design the art sculpture for the Claremont station.
“She was selected through a process in which each city would be involved in selecting their own individual artist and design,” Balian said.
Claremont has been working with Kohl for the past two years to come up with the concept, he said. Over the next year, the artist will work with Claremont to finalize the concept of the sculpture.
A 16-foot lighted sculpture – which will be made out of either steel or aluminum tubing – will be at the entrance of the station. The box-like sculpture will be placed in a skewed angle. Etched in Plexiglas, and lit from within by LED lights, will be letters and numbers in different languages and American Sign Language.
“The design revenue committee is happy with it, and it’s a unique sculpture,” Balian said.
As part of the concept, components of the art sculpture will also be placed in the elevator lobby of the parking garage.