Funding Approved for New Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station Design

by on July 12, 2017 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

Funds for the new design of the Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station have been approved by the City Council and Mayor of San Diego. The approved $200,000 is now in this year’s budget and now the study and design phase for a new facility can begin.

A new lifeguard station has been at the top of the ‘needed infrastructure’ lists of both the OB Planning Board and the OB Town Council, plus we at the OB Rag have been advocating for a new one for years. The OBTC sent a letter to the Council during budget deliberations advocating for a new station, as did the Planning Board.

District 2 Councilmember Lorie Zapf did take up the cause and touted the funding approval as a great victory for her office. She had sponsored a Petition in support of the funding (which received a lukewarm response, however).

OB Planning Board chair John Ambert was quoted on the issue by the Peninsula Beaccn; he said:

“This lifeguard station was constructed almost 50 years ago, and the deferred maintenance, lack of improvements and recent overloading of the building have made it inadequate for our public safety personnel.

“The exterior block walls are crumbling away, exposed metal door and rebar systems are rusting out and the plumbing systems fail regularly.

Ambert added that the station –

“lacks space to accommodate the current number of lifeguards on patrol, adequate storage for equipment and cliff-side rescue equipment, functioning data and communications systems, and independent men’s and women’s locker rooms. The Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station is at the end of its useful life, and a new fully functioning facility needs to be constructed in its place.”  San Diego Community News Group

Three leaders from the OB Town Council appeared before the City Council supporting the funding approval. Here is the testimony given by OBTC President Gretchen Newsom with support from OBTC boardmembers Gio Ingolia and Andrew Waltz:

Gretchen Newsom on behalf of the Ocean Beach Town Council and our hundreds of members – we are an organization dedicated to promoting the general betterment and beautification of Ocean Beach and the welfare of our residents of 92107.

I stand here to inform you that the Ocean Beach Town Council is in support of Councilmember Lorie Zapf’s efforts to obtain design funding for a new Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station as identified in her 2018 Budget Priorities memorandum. This project is consistent with the Ocean Beach Community Plan and is a long time advocated need within the community and by community based organizations.

The Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station was constructed 40 years ago and has lacked adequate improvements and renovations.  The popularity of Ocean Beach has also grown and just last year, Ocean Beach Lifeguards performed over 1,000 water rescues.

Additionally, Lifeguard staffing along Sunset Cliffs was increased due to demand. While these Lifeguards positions were funded in this year’s budget, they have put an increased strain on equipment and locker needs at the existing station. The current station is inadequate to accommodate this additional staff and equipment.

A new Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station will result in a more effective deployment of lifeguard personnel and equipment, therefore improving the safety of the public.  It will also improve our public restrooms and shower facilities which are used by thousands visitors and tourist every year. As part of the project, we also envision San Diego Police Department facilities to support their welcomed presence in Ocean Beach.

We thank you for your consideration and ask that you join us in advocating for this long awaited public safety improvement. We hope that you will support our efforts and continue to be a champion for our community needs, lifeguards and all public safety personnel.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Geoff Page July 12, 2017 at 11:22 am

Funding for design does not mean there will be funding to build it any time soon. And, they recently built two new stations in La Jolla and one in PB I think so why $200,000 for a design in OB?

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avatar kh July 12, 2017 at 5:27 pm

200k doesn’t even cover the design. More like a feasibility study or conceptual design to determine what is even needed and what can be built.

Then funding the actual design will be another budget fight.

Beats me how little value the city gets for our dollars, but I’ll take it, because its better than nothing.

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