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Cayucos Veteran's Hall secures county money for restoration

Cayucos Veterans Hall.JPG
Posted at 7:10 PM, Dec 09, 2021

Plans to restore the shuttered Veteran's Hall in Cayucos are moving forward.

Community members say after six years, they're looking forward to walking through the doors again.

It was originally built as a warehouse in 1875 by the founder of Cayucos, James Cass. Since then, the Vet's Hall has transformed into the heart of the seaside town.

"We had about 100,000 people use the facility each year," said Breck Smith, Lion's Club Vet's Hall Coordinator.

From weddings to events and meetings, all of this came to a halt.

"They went in, they said, 'Oh, this is terrible. The nails... we can't see the moment curve. We can't see how it's supporting… We can't see this and all of that,'" Smith explained.

The building was closed in 2015 over issues with the structure and foundation. It was also red-tagged this past summer.

But changes are on the horizon. A group of community members raised $340,000. The county also recently voted to fund the restoration.

"The Board of Supervisors approved a $3.5 million loan from one of our reserves to get the process started," said District 2 Supervisor Bruce Gibson.

The board expects to match that with some grant money since the total project has a price tag of more than $5 million.

"Pure joy," Smith said. "We are delighted to see it move forward."

It'll go out to bid in 2022 with the goal of construction in 2023 and the opening possibly in 2024.

"You're going to have double doors. It's going to open up right up to the Pacific. You can have your reception inside and you can step out to this massive deck," Smith said. "They're going to do away with the ceiling so it'll be all open beam, high ceilings, it's going to be stunning."

"When this project is done, it is going to be the premiere event space on the coast of San Luis Obispo County," Gibson added.

Community members are now working to raise an additional $500,000 for furnishings and amenities for the hall.