San Luis Obispo County broke ground Friday at the Veterans Hall in Cayucos for a long-awaited renovation.
Kalani Jackson, who lives in Cayucos, told KSBY, “We miss it. We want it back as soon as possible.”
“This building's kind of been a main staple in this town,” said Cayucos resident Charlene Paris.
The building has been the site of all types of community events, including parties and weddings.
According to San Luis Obispo County officials, the California State Fire Marshal condemned the building back in 2016 because of the failing foundation.
Jen Caffee, the Capital Projects Manager for the County of San Luis Obispo, said, “The entire building can be taken off its foundation and then placed back on the new foundation.”
The new foundation will be two and a half feet higher because of rising sea levels.
The community in Cayucos began to fundraise last summer to make the changes.
“From September 21 to November of this year, we raised over $500,000 from probably four or 500 individuals and organizations,” said Greg Bettencourt, the Chair of the Restore Cayucos Vets Hall Fundraising Committee.
The overall construction will cost around $11 million and the county received several grants from state and local governments to help.
"The original Cass warehouse has been determined to have historic significance at the local, state and national level, so the project will comply with the Secretary of Interior Standards for History for historic rehabilitation," Caffee explained.
The community is still fundraising for amenities like a new stage and a sound system. They would like to raise an additional $200,000. People can donate here.
“Everybody's been excited. Wait, waiting for it to get going. And it's going to be a great project,” said project inspector Terry Paris.
The project is expected to last 18 months, and finish in the spring of 2024. There will be a new history and art museum and more dining spaces.