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Convention Center Hopes To Replace Its Rooftop Sails

San Diego Convention Center staff are developing plans to replace the iconic sails atop the bayfront facility, a Convention Center Corp. director said today.

Roof of the Convention Center decorated with sails.
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Above: Roof of the Convention Center decorated with sails.

The sails are 20 years old -- two years past their useful life, according to director Steve Cushman.

"It's holding up fine at this point but, obviously, if you get a major windstorm it could be a big issue,'' Cushman told City News Service.

He said the cost of replacing the sails, which give the building its unique appearance, has been pegged at around $11.3 million.

The staff is coming up with alternatives for financing and replacing the sails and will make a presentation at an upcoming meeting of the center's board of directors, he said.

He told the San Diego City Council that the corporation has assigned $2.6 million in this fiscal year to deal with around $20 million in deferred maintenance projects -- of which the sails are the major portion.

The remainder is what he calls normal maintenance items for such a facility, like new carpets and restroom improvements.

"This is not something we can sweep under the rug,'' Cushman said.

He also told the council members that the corporation was going to try to rebuild its reserve account, which dipped to zero in the fiscal year that ended June 30.

The City Council passed amendments to an agreement between the Convention Center Corp. and Convention and Visitors Bureau that will allow ConVis to market the facility for organizations that schedule major meetings more than 18 months in advance.

The amendments passed on a 5-2 vote, with council members David Alvarez and Marti Emerald dissenting.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | July 10, 2012 at 9:34 p.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

San Diegans have little pride in their city.

When a new city hall that would save us money long-term was proposed, ignorant blog trolls came out of the woodwork calling it a "an elaborate Taj Mahal" and and called for city employees to be housed in temporary trailers on empty lots.

When the main library was being approved, ignorant blog trolls came out of the woodwork calling it a "an elaborate Taj Mahal" and called for a boarding-up of our central library because "google and Wikipedia have made books obsolete."

I'm sure if one was to visit the *PRAVDA UT* now, their notoriously dumbed-down readers would be calling for scrap cardboard to be used to patch up the roof of the convention center.

But take away a garishly cartoonish 'kissing statue' knock-off that cities with taste have rejected because it is to art what immigration "Krab" sticks are to king crab legs, and suddenly you have a bunch of old wretched cranks harrowing a million dollars at it to replicate it in Red Chinese-made bronze.


Life in America's Biggest Cow Town!

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | July 11, 2012 at 9:44 a.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

11.3 million? I would like to see the cost breakdown on that.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | July 11, 2012 at 11:53 a.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

JM, I was thinking the same thing. Can that really be the most competetive bid for a replacement?

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | July 11, 2012 at 12:50 p.m. ― 4 years, 7 months ago

I thought at that price, it almost sounds like a government contract, but I was under the impression that the convention center was privately owned... then I found this:

"The San Diego Convention Center Corporation (SDCCC) is a non-profit public benefit corporation created by the City of San Diego..."

And now we know why it is 11.3 million dollars. Just another government contract awarded to someone who took the decision maker out to a few nice dinners.

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