Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rec center renovation moves forward


City leaders continued grinding the gears toward renovating and seismically upgrading the Carrillo Recreation Center at a city Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday, recommending the Council approve funding for the project.
Built in 1913, the two-story building has serious structural deficiencies, poor disability access and inefficient ventilation, among other flaws. Finance Committee members recommended the full $6.7 million upgrade, the most complete and expensive of the three options up for consideration.

“It is a beautiful building and a historic one, and we should do it right,” Councilmember Helene Schneider said.
Known as the comprehensive version, the $6.7 million option would allow for seismic and disability access improvements, new electrical and ventilation systems, a new dance studio, and aesthetic upgrades.
City leaders passed on lesser versions that would simply put the essentials back into the facility, such as a $3.5 option that included only seismic and access improvements.
By going with the comprehensive version, the city has a chance to earn silver LEED certification for energy efficiency and green building, said John Schoof, the city’s acting wastewater system manager. A big part of that would be accomplished by replacing windows, doors and the old ventilation units.
“It will be incredibly more efficient than what is there,” Schoof said.
When the building was dedicated in August 1914, hundreds of visitors marveled at the innovative dance floor with metal springs below the floorboards, according to a city report. Since then, the building supported war efforts in World War I; served as an evacuation center in the 1925 earthquake and the 1995 floods; and hosted countless plays, concerts, lectures and rallies.
Today, it receives more than 100,000 visits yearly and offers 25 different programs and activities. Councilmember Iya Falcone acknowledged that the renovation has been needed for quite some time.
“When I came on council six and a half years ago, we were talking about this,” she said.
After the city identified $5 million in funding for the project in a 2003 Redevelopment Agency bond, the project fell on the back burner. In 2005, city officials pulled $1.5 million away to use for other near-term projects, Schoof said.
With only $3.5 million left in the project account, the city would need to find $3.2 million to complete the full-blown renovation. Schoof said $2.2 million could be pulled from a RDA capital project contingency fund and another $1 million from accrued interest on RDA funds.
The City Council will decide whether to move forward with that funding scheme, likely in the next few weeks, in addition to giving the go-ahead to develop final design plans.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If it "served as an evacuation center in the 1925 earthquake", I'd say it's probably pretty earthquate resistant already since the rest of SB was severely damaged!