Work could start on Cove site this summer
Construction on the Fletcher Cove Community Center remodeling project could begin as early as this summer, City Manager David Ott said last week.
Solana Beach has raised roughly $190,000 in donations for the three-phase project, which is expected to require between $450,000 and $500,000 in either money or building donations.
It is still unclear whether the plans will have to be fully vetted by the Coastal Commission. If they need a more thorough review, Ott said construction would then likely commence sometime in the fall.
“It was always our goal to hopefully start this year,” he said.
Bryan Pruden of the Solana Beach Community Foundation said the Coastal Commission approval process could be less stringent since the project does not alter the building’s foundation or footing.
Although there was recently a “major bluff failure” near where the community center stands, Ott said there was no danger to the site.
Pruden said a recent soils report shows there is no need to construct a seawall to protect the bluff below the community center.
The first phase of the project involves improving the parking lot and updating access via Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The actual refurbishing of the center itself is part of phase two, which still needs funding. That would include modernizing the building with new windows, doors, and roofing, as well as upgrading the bathrooms. The final phase involves landscape and horticulture beautification of the surrounding area.
The city recently changed its blueprints for the west-facing doors. Instead of folding glass doors, the building will use glass French doors. Ott said this is both to keep costs down, as well as to combat the weather conditions from the nearby ocean.
Fundraising efforts were recently boosted by an anonymous $20,000 donation, as well as a $25,000 allocation from county Supervisor Pam Slater-Price.
Pruden said the center’s symbolic nature has inspired many to donate.
“Some of the people that have given have a link to it from times past. They have a sense of nostalgia about the community center,” he said.
“There is absolutely a movement of people that want to leave a legacy for the children of Solana Beach. It’s been surprising and great.”
The center was moved to its current blufftop location after serving as an Army barracks in World War II. It became a popular gathering point for local residents and organizations. Solana Beach did not incorporate as a city until 1986.
“It provided a place for the community to come together,” Ott said.
The city is still seeking financial, material, or labor donations.
For more information about the community center project, visit www.solanabeachcommunityfoundation.org.
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