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Historic Downtown Lake Elsinore To Undergo Seismic Retrofitting

Construction is expected to begin in January.

Shoring up two of the most widely used buildings in downtown Lake Elsinore will begin in January, it was announced this week.

During its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, the Lake Elsinore City Council voted 4-0 to move forward on a nearly $1.7 million seismic retrofit of the Cultural Center and City Hall by awarding a $1,061,887 contract for the bulk of the work to Los Angeles-based Sea Pac Engineering Inc.

According to city documents, the Cultural Center was constructed in 1923 and City Hall in 1934. Both are unreinforced masonry structures and not up to current building codes, the documents state.

To help pay for the construction, a grant in the amount of $825,735.75 has been awarded to the city through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, but the money -- administered by the California Emergency Management Agency -- has yet to be drawn, according to Nicole McCalmont, who serves in the city’s public works department.

To-date, the city has spent nearly $200,000 on reports, design and other work associated with the projects. Additional budgeted costs beyond the scope of the Sea Pac contract include engineering, architecture, inspections, and rental space for meetings and storage, according to city documents.

Ken Seumalo, Lake Elsinore director of public works, told council members the construction is expected to take 240 workdays with an anticipated start date of Jan. 7, 2013 and an expected completion date of Dec. 12, 2013.

During construction, city staff will be temporarily located in the existing planning and code enforcement areas.

City Council meetings that normally take place at the Cultural Center will be held at Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District at 31315 Chaney Street.

Public Safety Advisory Commission, Lake Elsinore Planning Commission and Citizen Corp meetings will be held at the Lake Elsinore Senior Center at 420 Lakeshore Drive, McCalmont said.

The History Museum has been temporarily relocated to 15891 Grand Avenue, Suite 1, in Lake Elsinore. (To reach the museum, call 951-579-4952 or visit http://www.lakeelsinorehistoricalsociety.org/events.htm.)

Lake Elsinore City Councilwoman Melissa Melendez was absent for Tuesday’s vote.

Diana November 18, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Gee if the building has been standing since 1923 through many earthquakes is the $1.7 million project really necessary??? How about widening our roads, putting in sidewalks throughout the town, bike lanes around the Lake, some street lighting, why is it that this Council is always throwing money at everything but what is really needed?
Joe F November 18, 2012 at 10:26 PM
As the article states, the majority of the money was obtained through a grant from FEMA. The grant money had to be used for this project - it could not be used for road widening, installation of sidewalks, bike lanes or street lighting. I suppose you think it would be best to simply say "no thanks" and forego the project?

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