Achievement House makes temporary move

Achievement House has temporarily moved its work activity program for special needs adults from its location behind Cuesta College after its utilities were severed during a storm four weeks ago.

During the severe rain storms in late December, a eucalyptus tree fell onto a World War II-era wooden bridge spanning Chorro Creek on nearby Camp San Luis Obispo property, cutting off all utilities to the nonprofit group’s operation.

The fallen tree also severed the Cuesta College sewer line located below the bridge.

San Luis Coastal School District stepped in to help the Achievement House —offering an unused classroom in San Luis Obispo as a temporary site, said Leslie Alvarado, business services coordinator for Achievement House.

The move affected about two dozen adults who participate in the program — which focuses on specialized vocation support services for adults with disabilities.

The thrift store and nursery remain open at the site by use of a generator, Alvarado said.

Maj. Mark Johnson at Camp San Luis Obispo said expedited efforts are under way to fix the utility lines, with repairs expected in coming weeks.

The contracts are in place, and work is expected to begin this week to restore water, electricity and communication lines, he said.

The sewer line will take more time to repair, but a temporary fix will be put in place to allow Achievement House access to the building, Johnson said.

The contracts needed to restore utilities to the Achievement House must be approved by the state and are billed as an “emergency need of health and safety,” he said.

The sewer line repair project, which included installing a lift station and laying 700-feet of new sewer pipe, was completed last week, with campus restrooms reopening Wednesday.

The college used 45 portable toilets scattered around campus while the repairs were being done.

A plan to upgrade the old utility lines at Camp San Luis, many of them from the World War II era, was already in place when the tree fell, said Maj. James Tulloch, director of public works.

“The whole camp is in the process of being upgraded right now, but with 5,000 acres, it takes time and a lot of money too,” Tulloch said.

Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.