Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Feb 27th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Future Uncertain for Vets Hall

news_vetsCommunity hopes for a speedy reopening

Much to the shock of local community members, county officials announced on Thursday, Jan. 21, that as of 5 p.m., the Santa Cruz Veterans Memorial Building would be closed indefinitely.

The announcement came after an architect and a structural engineer toured the building and recommended its immediate closure, stating in a report that it “presents a significant risk of injury or death to the occupants of the auditorium should a seismic event occur.” A week earlier, the building’s manager, Tim Brattan, had noticed loose falling stucco and requested a site assessment. The County Facilities Superintendent conducted a safety inspection, and the potential issues they identified prompted them to issue a purchase order for the structural assessment.

Hall officials plan to oversee more testing of the building, including its steel and concrete, and the soil in which it sits. As of press time, they were accepting bids from parties interested in conducting the tests.

The Veterans Memorial Building, built in 1932, is a registered historical landmark and home to many vital veteran services, including an integrative health program and an emergency radio station. In addition to veterans’ services, the building also houses over 40 weekly yoga classes and various events from concerts to drum circles to contra dancing. The building boasts a ballroom, banquet room, yoga studios, kitchen, and various rooms that can be rented by the public for various events. According to the building’s website, it “operates as a nonprofit venue providing space to the community for meetings, classes, workshops, concerts, dance productions and other performing arts events.”

For the present, the Veterans Services Office has been relocated to the third floor of Building K at 1400 Emeline Ave. In a phone message, Cecilia Espinola, director of the county’s Human Services Department, told Good Times that “full staff services are available.” She also mentions that the weekly van transport they provide for veterans to the Palo Alto Medical Center will resume on Feb. 8. She urges anyone in need of other services to call the office at their new number, 454-4761. They will still return voicemails left at their old number.

As for the other goings on of the building, an email sent by Brattan on the day of the closure states that “all classes and events here are cancelled until further notice.” Yoga instructor Maria Alfaro has been teaching a Wednesday evening class at the Veterans Memorial Building for about 10 years, but says that she and the other instructors are taking the news pretty well.

“Well, anybody who teaches yoga is kind of calm,” she laughs. “But everybody is looking for other places to go. Others are more greatly affected [than myself] because they teach more classes there. The common desire is that the place reopens as soon as possible.” She mentions that other yoga studios have sent emails offering support and opportunities to teach at their studio. Since Alfaro’s class is during a popular time spot, it’s unlikely she will find another studio where she can instruct. But her main concern is for the veterans. “This is the only place for vets to go,” she says. “I’m more concerned about the vets because without it they don’t have anywhere.”

Gordon echoes Alfaro’s hopes for a timely reopening of the building. “My goal here is to find a repair strategy,” says Gordon. “The building is important to the community. We’re not at all oblivious to the significance here.”

At this point, county officials are not able or willing to predict the future of the building. “It’s too early to tell,” says Director of General Services Nancy Gordon. “Further analysis is needed to determine the full scope of the issues. But I remain optimistic and hopeful that we’ll be able to find a solution.”

More will be known on March 16, when the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors will meet to hear a status report. According to Gordon, future possibilities will depend on study findings.

“No decisions are being made [currently],” she says. “I know there are a lot of rumors out there but we really don’t know much at this time. Again, I remain hopeful that we will find a resolution.”

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Green Swell

Local surfboard company greens up the industry with an eco-conscious business model

 

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces. Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Seal Change

Celtic selkie lore comes alive in dazzling ‘Song of the Sea’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Teresa’s Gourmet Foods

New owners for Santa Cruz’s leading local salsa company

 

What defines a good dive bar?

It’s slightly dirty, and they serve cheap drinks. Stella Celeste, Santa Cruz, Barrista

 

Picchetti Winery

After enjoying its contents, I couldn’t throw away the empty bottle of Picchetti Winery’s Red Table Wine.

 

Happy Birthday, Manny

Manuel’s turns 50, farmers market steel head pairs with Pinot, and a Birichino Malvasia