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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

La Jolla Lifeguard Stations To Be Renovated

— All three lifeguard towers in La Jolla will soon be undergoing major renovations. The San Diego City Council on Tuesday approved an additional $75,000 to help improve the lifeguard tower at the Cove.

The renovation of the Cove lifeguard tower will cost $5.1 million. The plans have been in place for years, but the economy crashed before the project got started and the money for it went away.

Max Affarano, with the San Diego Fire and Rescue Department said the project is more expensive now because construction codes have changed.

"La Jolla right now is the priority because the stations that are in La Jolla are the ones that need the most attention, La Jolla Shores, the Children's Pool and La Jolla Cove," he said.

Affarano said the Cove tower was first built in the 1950s and renovated in the 1980s. He said construction will start in about two years. Before that the towers at Children's Pool and La Jolla Shores will be demolished and rebuilt. The Children's Pool renovation will cost $5.9 million. The La Jolla Shores project will cost $3.7 million. He says the La Jolla towers are the priority because they're in need of the most attention.

"Because of the topography mostly at Children's Pool and the Cove, it's really hard to place a lifeguard tower out there," he said. "So back when these lifeguard towers were built, 20 or 30 years ago, they pretty much did the minimum."

Affarano said better towers are needed because the beaches are more crowded and there are more swimmers. He said minor repairs will be done at the Mission Beach and Ocean Beach stations.

Affarano said the South Mission Beach tower also needs to be completely re-done. But he says there isn't any money available. That projected would cost nearly $5 million.

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