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Beach Club Plan Back to Drawing Board

A plan to renovate the Ole Hanson Beach Club goes back for review by architects and is set for discussion at a January public meeting.

Restoring and reconfiguring the Ole Hanson Beach Club is a tricky proposition, city officials say, given the building's narrow shape, the imperative not to change the historical outside shell, new building codes and budget constraints.

This is why the San Clemente City Council sent conceptual plans back to the drawing board Tuesday night, saying there wasn't enough detail to move forward to develop actual construction plans.

In addition to the structural and historical difficulties is the project's budget limitation -- $2.5 million -- and the push to reopen the popular, moneymaking venue as soon as possible. Furthermore, jamming an elevator and all the new features that would bring the 1927 building up to modern codes just won't fit in the floor space, requiring creative maneuvering and less-than-ideal floor plans, officials said.

The restoration concept in its current iteration is set up in two phases; the most immediate needs fall under the budgeted $2.5 million, whereas the second would cost $1.2 million.

"This scope of work really became budget-driven," said Beaches, Parks and Recreation Director Sharon Heider. "First we opened up the building and figured out what needed to be done, and then we looked at what needed to be done immediately.

"Included in the first phase of renovations would be improvements to the interior, including re-configuring the ground floor; installing an elevator; repairing the roof; and relocating the kitchen.

The second, $1.2 million phase would include a total roof replacement, refinishing the wood floors upstairs, replacing with historical windows those that have been removed and completing the pool improvements.

But council members felt the concept and phases needed tweaking; they floated the idea of including some of the second-phase improvements in the first phase and asked questions about the proposed floor plans to which there weren't clear answers.

"We need to bring in the architect and do this whole thing again," said City Manager George Scarborough. "Otherwise, we're just going to get tied up. We need to get you guys comfortable with moving forward.

"Mayor Jim Evert agreed."I think we're all very anxious to get this moving, but I think we all want to do it right," he said.

Staffers resolved to delve into more detail, especially about cost estimates for each individual improvement, and bring back consultants to discuss restoration plans during the first meeting in January.

Tom Barnes November 29, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Watched the meeting, discussion was good, but in the end I had no idea what the $2.5 million was being spent on other than an elevator that had issues and a gourmet kitchen for caterers. No new roof, no refinishing floors until the 2nd $1.2 phase. Maybe phase 2 should be phase 1. It would be helpful if the staff spoke in standard English instead of so much "bureaucratese." Council was correct in sending it back for a total redo. The discussion on what should be done will, no doubt, be a lively one.

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