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Cost Estimates Balloon, But Beach Club Rehab Still not Ready

The San Clemente City Council and public keep floating more ideas, despite the lack of money to handle them all.

The Ole Hanson Beach Club renovations will likely be delayed for three or four months as architects head back to the drawing board for the second time to re-imagine concepts for the rehab and floor plan redesign.

One thing is for certain, officials said, all the ideas, if implemented, would far exceed the budget for the project.

"I think we just blew past $3.7 million here," said Mayor Bob Baker.

The San Clemente City Council Tuesday heard from its architects as council members and the public floated dozens of ideas for the rehabilitation and reorganization of the floor plan of the historic structure. City staff brought the concept plans to the city for approval last year, but council made suggestions for changes and adjustments. Tuesday, the council and members of the public asked for even more changes and cost estimates.

Councilwoman Lori Donchak said the council would have to pick and choose which potential improvements and renovations it wants -- and how to phase them, considering only $2.5 million has been allocated for the first phase of the project.

Addressing Beaches, Parks and Recreation Director Sharon Heider, Donchak said the beach club rehab would have to be prioritized in line with other parks and rec projects.

"You have a massive portfolio that you need to manage, and rightly or wrongly, the money just doesn't seem to be there," Donchak said.

Some of the major changes to conceptual designs for the beach club renovations include making the entrance to the pool in a straight line opposite the entrance to the club, moving the catering kitchen closer to the tower stairway where the food is transported to the party room upstairs, removing the gate from the stairway on the second floor patio to the pool deck, extending the pool deck toward the ocean, adding glass or iron grating to allow an ocean view from the pool and other suggestions.

Local contractor Marc Schroeder pointed out that not only was it inefficient to do minor repairs on the tile roof first and then replace it in the second phase, as is currently suggested, it was also dangerous.

"After reading in the newspapers about these phase I and phase II, I didn't think it was very practical," he said. "It's like working in the world's biggest mousetrap -- It's very dangerous to have all that weight above your men while you're working in there."

Construction was scheduled to start early this year and take a year to a year-and-a-half for the first phase but now that will be delayed because of design changes. City Manager George Scarborough said the adjusted project concepts will come back before council during the budgeting process, which will allow council members to determine exactly how much they are willing and able to spend on the project.

Sicmarc January 10, 2013 at 06:42 PM
What I took away from this meeting was the complete disregard for any of the citizens of San Clemente who loved the Ole Hanson Beach Club the way it was, want it re-opened this decade and don't want us going into debt for the sole purpose of changing it in order to build the egos of a Pasadena architecture firm and city council members. Lori Donchek is the only one of them who shows ANY interest whatsoever in keeping costs down or getting the job done in a logical and timely manner.
Sicmarc January 10, 2013 at 09:46 PM
They are going about this project the wrong way. Everyone agrees that repairs are needed and the exterior restored. The only thing still being debated is the interior design. Why not get the repairs done and expose all the interior framing so the city can make informed decisions KNOWING what is rotten and needs to be replaced instead of assuming what will be found after demolition is complete.

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