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San Clemente approves $1.2 million renovation for lifeguard headquarters – Orange County Register

Posted by | June 18, 2018 | Uncategorized

Evening beachgoers hang out near the 50-year-old San Clemente Lifeguard Headquarters building, which was approved this week by the City Council to receive a $1.2 million renovation and modernization project. (Photo By Jeff Antenore, Contributing Photographer)
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED: SAN CLEMENTE — For awhile, Marine Safety Lt. Rod Mellott and other lifeguards worried that their aging headquarters just to the north of the San Clemente pier might need to be relocated.

Though a small sea wall provides some protection, strong surf has pulled away tons of sand from beneath the 50-year-old wooden building. Gaping holes have left the 5,000-square-foot structure vulnerable and high surf has smashed windows and eroded pilings beneath it.

With this week’s king tides, the headquarters’ windows have been sealed off with plywood because its storm shutters no longer work.

However, on Tuesday, June 12, the San Clemente City Council alleviated the lifeguards’ fears, giving final approval for a $1.2 million plan to renovate the building allowing it to stay where it is.

Earlier discussions over its degrading state had council members considering alternative locations  —  including moving the building from the beachfront to behind the train track in the San Clemente Pier Bowl or even further north, to T-Street or North Beach. But that would have required state approvals, adding to the delay and expense.

With the council’s OK, renovation is slated to begin after Labor Day and take about four to five months. Most permits have approval and the city is finalizing agreements with the California Coastal Commission and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Renovation efforts are expected to extend the building’s life for at least a decade.

“The building hasn’t had significant attention since 1986,” said Tom Bonigut, San Clemente’s public works director, as he toured the site, pointing out areas of repair. “It’s just been about doing small maintenance.”

Bonigut said another project city officials are working on could have had an impact on the marine safety headquarters. That involves bringing in 251,000 cubic yards of sand to expand the width of the beach near the headquarters by 50 feet.  Read more…