Vets Hall Work Speeding Up

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

October 6, 2023

Construction work on the $11million project to rehabilitate the Cayucos Vet’s Hall

Photo by Neil Farrell

Work is progressing nicely on the resurrection of the historic Cayucos Vet’s Hall, a more than $11 million project being undertaken by the County. 

Officially called the “Cayucos Veteran’s Memorial Hall Rehabilitation” project the effort is a total remodel of the circa-1870s structure that started life as the Cass Warehouse, part of the shipping business started by Cayucos Founder, Capt. James Cass. 

The Vet’s Hall was in a sad state several years ago when the County closed it for repairs. The floor under the stage had rotted out and was in danger of collapse. 

Further investigations discovered the walls were poorly connected to the massive, high-pitched roof, eventually leading to condemnation by the Office of the State Architect, and its complete closure. The Vet’s Hall is owned by State Parks and leased (since the 1940s) by the County. It was under the management of the Lions Club but when it finally reopens, the plan is for County Parks to manage it.

The contractors had to remove the Pier Plaza, leaving just the Dale Evers dolphin sculpture in place. The building was stripped down to the wall studs, picked up and moved off the rotted foundation, while a new one was built. 

A few weeks ago, the building was moved back onto the new foundation and the remodeling work has really taken off.

The photos here show the progress of the job in just one week, as she is now fully sided with new plywood and interior work has begun.

Eventually it will resemble greatly the original warehouse design and there will be a new plaza with a wrap-around deck at the west side of the building. It’s anticipated that the community barbecue area that was taken out will be rebuilt, too.

The General Contractor for the job is J G Contracting of Nipomo and the architect on the project is RRM Design Group of SLO. 

The County stitched together several funding sources — the Natural Resources Agency, Coastal Conservancy and Prop. 68 (the Parks & Water Bond of 2018). Local citizens also have pitched in, gathering hundreds of thousands in donations to help get the funding snowball moving. 

A special group of citizens was formed under the moniker “Restore Cayucos Vets Hall.” The group continues to fundraise in order to purchase the accouterments needed — tables, chairs, linens, plates, utensils — one expects to have available at an events center like the Vet’s Hall. 

See: to make donations.

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