Structural problems close Cayucos Vets Hall
May 2, 2016
The Cayucos Veterans Memorial Lions Hall, a popular location for weddings and other events, appears to be closing due to structural problems found by building inspectors. The building is used on a daily basis by the Cayucos Lions Club, but San Luis Obispo County is responsible for managing the facility. [Tribune]
After building inspectors discovered structural issues, the county told the Lions Club it had to vacate the building. The Lions club packed up its belongings and left on Friday.
The Vets Hall hosts about 50 to 60 major events a year. A wedding scheduled for last weekend was cancelled, and the county has prohibited groups from scheduling new events in the building.
Dave Flynn, the county’s deputy director of public works, said there have been numerous add-ons to the Vets Hall, and many of them did not meet building standards. The stage, which is the part of the building that is in the worst shape, is already boarded off with sheets of plywood.
Building officials’ primary concern is how well the structure would withstand strong windstorms or earthquakes. Inspectors will examine the building on Monday and decide what repairs are needed and how much use can safely occur.
The Vets Hall is located at the foot of the Cayucos Pier, which recently closed for two years to undergo repairs. The pier repairs cost $3.5 million. Cayucos residents raised $230,000 of those funds.
Supervisor Bruce Gibson said the county will budget what it can for repairs to the Vets Hall, and it will seek grant funds. But, the community may have to do fundraising to cover a shortfall, Gibson said.
The state of California owns the Vets Hall, but a nearly 70-year-old agreement makes the county responsible for managing and upkeep of the building. The county has an agreement with the Lions Club that allows the organization to handle day-to-day operations.
The Lions Club charges $950 per event at the Vets Hall. Club officials say they use most of the revenue to maintain the building and spend leftover money on providing eye care and swim passes for local children.
It is common for 400 or more people to attend a weekend event at the Vets Hall. Most of the attendees stay at local motels and eat at local restaurants.
County building officials are expected to rule on the status of the building by late this week.