Clouds over Cayucos Pier. Photo by Somer Whitacre.

Public Weighs in on Cayucos Vets Hall Remodel

Author: Public Works
Date: 8/25/2017 12:00:00 PM

San Luis Obispo County residents provided suggestions on what they would like to see in the new Cayucos Vets Hall.

San Luis Obispo County residents provided suggestions on how the new Cayucos Veterans Hall building should be laid out and told County staff what they wanted to see in the new Vets Hall during a public meeting in July. Public suggestions, which were reviewed by the Cayucos Advisory Committee on Aug. 2, included:

  • Returning the tower bell to the Vet’s Hall building.  The bell, with A-frame and wheel, was originally situated on the roof ridge of the Cass Warehouse building.  Years ago, the bell was relocated and is currently on display above the roof of the Cayucos Fire Department.
  • Reworking the kitchen to be more commercial-style to be more efficient and accommodating. Commercial-style could include walk-in refrigerator/freezer units, catering options
  • Remodeling the current looks of the building, inside and out, while maintaining the “warehouse” look. This could include suggestions such as: removing the existing stage and replace it with a portable stage, removing obstructions in the main hall, redo the roof while retaining the hardwood floor, and adding a storage area for chairs, tables, and the stage.

Other items discussed at the Aug. 2 meeting included the County’s decision to form a steering committee for the Cayucos Veterans Hall restoration project. The purpose of this committee will be to review and direct the Design Division of Public Works. This division plays an important role in the engineering and architectural design of the Vets Hall Project.

Dependent on funding for construction, the Vets Hall Project would be looking at an anticipated completion date in early 2020. The upcoming milestones for the project are the official design, environmental documentations, and the State approvals, all scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2018.

Fiscal responsibility is a priority for the County as it relates to this project’s budget. The Cayucos Advisory Committee also discussed the project’s budget. Although no budget beyond the initial design phase of the project has been approved, County Public Works is currently researching all possible State and Federal grant options to offset the cost. One of these grants is provided by the State for historical sites. To be eligible, the site must meet at least one of four criteria to be labeled as “historic”, and thus be eligible for the grant. The Vets Hall site meets all four criteria.

The Cayucos Veterans Hall was closed to the public on May 4, 2016 for safety reasons after a structural analysis of the building found that the it was not structurally sound and is unsafe to occupy. The County ordered the closure and immediately began working with the Cayucos Lions Club to help those who had existing reservations for various events at the Cayucos Vets Hall.

As soon as the County found out about the extent of the problems with the building’s structural integrity, it got to work determining the best course of action. The County closed the building’s stage last fall and repaired structural problems with the building’s south-facing wall this past winter, after a stucco maintenance project in the summer revealed the wall’s problems. The County hired VerTech Engineering to complete the design plans for rehabilitation of the decks and the ocean-side exterior wall and conduct a comprehensive structural analysis.

The analysis indicates that the nails holding the roof together are severely compromised and building lacks lateral bracing, which means that the roof or walls could collapse if a strong wind blows or an earthquake hits. In addition, the foundation has begun to fail due to corrosion. When the County received the final report on May 3, 2016, it officially ordered the closure of the building.

Get the latest updates on this project by bookmarking and visiting the Cayucos Vets Hall Restoration project page.