Repairs could start soon on the leaky roof on Hearst Castle’s main house — the 68,500-square-foot, 38-bedroom La Casa Grande — following an Aug. 26 bid opening for the job.
State Parks Contract Analyst Whitney Lemont at the agency’s Sacramento service center is to handle the bid opening, according to Nick Franco, superintendent of the State Parks district that includes the castle.
He said the repairs are estimated to cost $1.1 million to $2 million, an expense of bond funds authorized in July by the state Legislature.
Franco said the bid estimate is for repair work only (including bat management: “They can’t do the work during bat nesting season,” he explained). The bid doesn’t cover previous planning, architecture and engineering work, or art conservation related to the project.
The Castle’s iconic Neptune Pool also is scheduled for some pricey repairs. About $3.3 million in bond funds was allocated for that work to totally redo the pool, Franco said, an estimate that includes engineering, plan development, plumbing repairs under the leaky pool and other costs.
So much water was leaking from the 345,000-gallon pool that, earlier this year, officials decided to empty it to help save water during the drought. Previous patch jobs didn’t halt the leaks or water loss, according to officials.