Posted on 25 March 2014 by La Habra Journal
By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
After hosting meetings, weddings and other community events, and the home to one of the oldest community clubs in La Habra since the 1920s, the Women’s Clubhouse is at a crossroads. Since being deemed unusable more than a year ago, the city is looking at options for the building.
Repairs needed: The Women’s Clubhouse located at 200 W. Greenwood Ave., has been closed due to ceiling collapse since 2012. The city is looking to determine plans for the future of the city building.
In late December 2012, a portion of the building’s ceiling collapsed. City inspectors discovered what was determined as significant damage to a roof truss and red-tagged the building. According to Interim City Manager Jim Sadro, the City hired an engineering consultant to evaluate the building’s structural condition. “They have determined that several of the roof trusses in the main hall are severely cracked and at risk of further failure,” Sadro explained. The cost of reparing the 6,900 square-foot facility, including required ADA improvements, is estimated at almost $1.2 million. Additional facility improvements necessary to make the building more functional and improve the HVAC may cost an additional $200,000, for a total potential project cost of $1.4 million, according to Sadro. Demolishing and rebuilding the facility could double the costs for the city to an estimated $3 million. An amount that La Habra Councilman Tim Shaw said is not in the city’s price range. “We don’t exactly have that just lying around,” he said.
This is where the City Council has decided to look for suggestions from the community as to what should be done with the facility at 200 W. Greenwood.
“We really need to use that location for something that will benefit the community,” said La Habra Councilman Jim Gomez. “Whether we sell it or keep it. It needs to be used for something for the entire community.” Gomez is looking to hear from the community to get some ideas for the city property. “Regardless, whatever we do needs to be carefully thought out, and I really want to engage the community and get their feedback as to what we should do,” Gomez said. “Because we have a lot of options and I don’t want to rush into anything. ” Gomez points out that one of the options could include selling the property to a developer. He added that the sale could net around $500,000 – $600,000 for the city. That money is something that could be applied to another public use area like developing a dog park at Vista Grande Park. If it is sold to a developer, Gomez said there would have to be conditions. “I don’t want to see some high density project there,” he added. “It will have to be some homes that will blend into the neighborhood and make sense as well.” Another option could be to create a public park. Gomez added that it could be another in partnership with developers like KABOOM and Forresters. The city has similar developments located at Guadalupe, Portola and soon to be Descanso Parks. Gomez encourages the community to call him at: (714) 329-0365 to give their thoughts.
“The bottom line is that is has to be something that benefits the entire community,” he said. “I want to hear what the public has to say.”