Atascadero shares plans to repair downtown landmark

Media representatives took a tour through Atascadero’s Administration Building on Friday as officials discussed plans to begin the three-year construction project to restore it.

Work to fix the cracked and broken 1917 historic landmark, which was damaged in the 2003 San Simeon earthquake, begins in September.

Personnel with the contractor, Bernard’s Construction, and city staff took media through nine areas within the building and pointed out where damage had occurred.

Work to restore the building is estimated to cost $43 million. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to pay $16 million for the project, slated for completion in 2013. The city is still lobbying to bring the money up to $28 million. The city has long held the federal agency should also pay for the costs of bringing the building up to current code and disabled-access laws, which were not in effect before the earthquake, as well as replacing the ventilation system, which has deteriorated after seven years of not being maintained.

The Atascadero City Council unanimously agreed earlier this month to take on a 30-year debt plan to pay for its share.

The bonds are expected to be $16 million to $16.5 million, although up to $18 million is allowed.

The four-story building most recently housed city offices, City Council chambers and the Atascadero Historical Society museum before it closed after the quake. Prior to that, it had a rich history of various uses in the early-and-mid 1900s, including a public library post office, civic center and three private schools.

More information

Read Tuesday’s edition of The Tribune or go to SanLuisObispo.com for a more in-depth story on the building’s history and the work to restore it.