City to host grand opening of Marine Safety Center on May 30

After it was first announced nearly four years ago, the new Moonlight Beach Marine Safety Center will finally host its grand opening later this month.

The City of Encinitas will host a ceremony for the $3 million, 2,350-square-foot lifeguard tower on May 30 at 6 p.m. at Moonlight Beach.

Encinitas broke ground on the new center in the fall of 2016. The former lifeguard tower, originally built by lifeguard staff in 1953, was demolished in October of that year.

Designed by Stephen Dalton Architects of Solana Beach, the center includes a first aid room, locker, storage, restroom areas, a sheriff desk and observation space. It also offers a 360-degree deck allowing lifeguards panoramic views of the ocean, beach, B Street, C Street and the Moonlight State Beach parking lot.

"Lifeguard observation and accessibility was improved overall," said Marine Safety Captain Larry Giles. "The new facility was repositioned on the beach cove in a way to optimize observation capabilities for the lifeguards. Blind spots caused by traditional structural designs were reduced, broadening the observation glass, thereby producing a stronger view-shed from the interior of the second deck as you look north, south and west from the facility."

City officials had originally planned to unveil the tower last Memorial Day, but construction was impacted by weather delays, said Stephanie Kellar, senior capital projects engineer for the City of Encinitas.

The lifeguards began moving equipment into the center last October, and the building was fully operational the following month, Kellar said.

The city recently announced the tower won a Public Works Project of the Year Award, which will be presented on May 24 by the American Public Works Association (APWA) San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter. The award was established to promote excellence in public works projects by recognizing the partnership between the managing agency, the consultant/architect/engineer team, and the contractor, who work together to successfully complete outstanding projects for the community.

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