SOLANA BEACH — “This is truly a monument to the community,” Mayor Lesa Heebner said during a July 1 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the renovated Fletcher Cove Community Center.
“This is a very exciting and historic day that was a long time coming and a short time in the making,” she said on a day that also marked the 25th anniversary of the county’s second smallest city.
The former World War II Army barracks was moved to its current bluff-top location from Vista in 1944. There have been no significant improvements since then.
In 2007 the building was ranked second on a list of 15 facilities that needed to comply with federal and state accessibility laws.
“We saw that as a great opportunity to improve (the facility) and off we went,” Heebner said.
The project is slated to be completed in three phases. The first phase, completed in November 2010, was mostly grading and improvements to bring the surrounding property into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It included construction of a new parking lot and the addition of handicapped-accessible parking spaces.
Construction on phase two, which was the building upgrades, began in February. The final phase will include park improvements for the southern portion of the site. That will begin when funding becomes available.
The cost for the first two phases was approximately $370,000. Funding came from a variety of sources, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, the redevelopment agency and donations from the Solana Beach Civic & Historical Society, the Solana Beach Community Foundation and residents Peter House and Carol Childs.
At the ribbon cutting, House and Childs presented the city with a $56,500 check from the historical society and community foundation.
“And the bank is not closed,” House said, adding that an additional $1,000 donation was received earlier that day.
The new building is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certified silver. It optimizes natural light and includes drought-tolerant landscaping that should cut water consumption by more than one-third, Heebner said.
The old landscaping was removed by volunteers from Solana Beach Presbyterian Church and Santa Fe Christian Schools. The property was replanted by community volunteers.
The facility will provide about 1,000 square feet of community meeting space. It will be the new home for the Del Sol Lions Club and once again be the site for the community sing-alongs.
The ribbon-cutting event also included music by Metro, an ‘80s tribute band, children’s arts and crafts provided by Art a la Carte 101, a city history and a laser light show.