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Council approves contracts for lifeguard headquarters

Lifeguards will move offices and service areas to mobile units in September on Main Beach Park. Temporary restrooms will be north of the basketball courts.

July 19, 2012|By Barbara Diamond

City officials expect the construction of the new lifeguard headquarters and public restrooms on Main Beach to be completed well under the $8.1 million budgeted for the project — if all goes well.

The City Council on Tuesday approved contracts for the construction and associated costs, estimated to top out at $6.6 million, including about $1 million already spent or encumbered and a contingency fund in case of mishaps or the need to revise plans for the complex project.

"That leaves a reserve of $1.5 million, which hopefully will be available for another project," City Project Manager Wade Brown said.

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City Manager John Pietig said the economy, which has adversely affected revenue, in this case benefited the city. The project was one of Pietig's first major assignments as assistant city manager.

"The economic climate has resulted in lower bids," Pietig said.

Low bidder Stronghold Engineering was awarded a $4.3 million contract for construction of the headquarters and restrooms and a $110,000-maximum contract for the preparation of temporary facilities to be used during construction.

The lifeguards will move offices, and service areas to mobile units in early September to the lawn area of Main Beach Park next to the cobblestones. Temporary public restrooms will be located north of the basketball courts, with four fixtures per gender.

Relocations, including utilities will cost an estimated $200,000.

Demolition of the deteriorated, cramped 1,350-square-foot headquarters will begin in October, Marine Safety Chief Kevin Snow said.

The new building will house marine safety operations on two levels, one of them underground — a notion credited to former City Manager Ken Frank. That led to the final 6,722-square-foot design, which passed muster with the City Council, the California Coastal Commission and the Marine Safety Department.

Locker rooms, training, space for briefing, training and report writing, a small restroom and storage space will be located below grade level.

A first aid area and separate men's and women's locker rooms, offices, dispatch area, generators and public restrooms will be on the upper level.

"Among the key features is the "green" roof with succulents growing on top and some solar panels," Snow said.

"Another plus is the restoration of the (north end) bluff, which later will increase the view to the north to the tidepool area from the lifeguard dispatch area."

The pathway from the beach to Heisler Park will also be enhanced.

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