Council to consider seismic updates for Heritage Junction

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on Feb. 26. Dan Watson/The Signal
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The Santa Clarita City Council will consider a request by the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society on Tuesday to provide $125,000 toward seismic retrofitting for four historic buildings in Heritage Junction Historical Park in Newhall. 

Alan Pollack, president of the Historical Society, sent the request for the emergency funding in a letter addressed to the City Council members April 19. 

“These restored buildings are sited on foundations that have begun to deteriorate and sustain damage, including termite damage, and there is ongoing maintenance and additional reinforcement that these 100- to 150-year-old buildings need to withstand the stresses of seismic activity, the constant shaking caused by passing trains, and wear and tear from public tours and festivals,” Pollack wrote of the Saugus Train Station, Kingsbury House, Newhall Ranch House and Edison House. “Without these upgrades, the four buildings could pose a safety risk to our volunteers and the visiting public.” 

The Historical Society retained experts to identify the scope of work and cost of work, according to Pollack’s letter. 

City staff recommended the City Council use its contingency account to finance the updates if it chooses to support them. 

Before taking up the Historical Society’s request, council members will review the consent calendar — a set of actions the City Council can approve with one vote. Individual council members can choose to remove items from the consent calendar, which includes the three items below, for further discussion. 

New Zamboni 

Among the 20 items on Tuesday’s consent calendar are a lease-purchase agreement for a new Zamboni for the recently opened The Cube ice rink.  

City staff has asked the City Council to approve a five-year agreement not to exceed $182,211 for a new Zamboni after concluding one of the rink’s two existing Zambonis is beyond repair. Both existing machines, which daily resurface the top layer of the Cube’s three ice rinks, have been in use for over 20 years. 

Sports Center Gym Roof Replacement 

The City Council will also decide whether to approve an agreement shy of a half-million dollars for the replacement of the 40-year-old gymnasium roof at the Santa Clarita Sports Center. 

“This project will install a new roofing membrane on the entire building and provide a 20-year warranty on the material. Completing this roofing replacement will prevent further water-related damage and will ensure recreation programs are not adversely impacted,” according to a staff report prepared by the city’s Public Works Department. 

The report attributed the need to replace the roofing material to its age and rapid deterioration and multiple leaks. 

“Staff has attempted to patch and repair the roof; however, several leaks recur each year due to roof membrane slippage,” the city’s report said. “Based on the condition of the roof, patch work is no longer an effective repair method and replacement is now needed.” 

Bee Canyon Outdoor Space Acquisition 

The City Council will be able to fulfill Tuesday a self-imposed condition set during its approval of the Sand Canyon Plaza in 2017. The development project includes 580 residential units, 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and an 85,000 square-foot assisted living facility with up to 140 beds.  

As part of the project approval, the City Council “agreed to prepare an independent appraisal on approximately 132 acres at Bee Canyon and … to accept the appraisal value as the purchase price for the city to purchase, in its sole discretion, the 132 acres.” 

The 132 acres located east of the city limits on the edge of Agua Dulce along Highway 14 appraised for $975,000. The council is being asked to also allocate $50,000 to create a trails connection to the Eastern Greenbelt Open Spaces. 

Janine Prado, the city’s director of recreation and community services, told The Signal that the city aims for “connectivity” when acquiring open space. 

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