Thursday, February 25, 2016

Downtown Monterey's new conference center now scheduled to fully debut in early 2017

While more asbestos than expected was recently discovered during the demolition process of Monterey's conference center, City Manage Mike McCarthy said he doesn't really see it as a setback for the project overall.
“I can't say for certain how long the delays will be,” said McCarthy. “I'm looking at the final project rather than its timing.”
While the city had found the toxic material prior to construction beginning and thought they had mitigated it, it ultimately turned up in other areas.
“We did a variety of testing before the project started to learn where it may be,” explained McCarthy. “In peeling back the layers, you're sometimes going to find issues.”
Originally, the city hoped to debut the center's new first floor in late 2016 and the second floor in early 2017. Now, instead of the staggered opening, the new $50 million conference center will open in its entirety in early 2017.
“I hate to give time frames only because we're still in the demo stages of project,” said McCarthy. “We think a single delivery date is actually better.”
The original conference center was constructed in 1977 and hasn't had a major renovation since. The remodeled conference center will have many technological upgrades and a LEED Certified Silver rating for energy efficiency.

“We've started revitalization of the downtown for the last couple of years but the conference center is the heart of downtown and we're expecting an increase in the number and type of conferences we get,” said McCarthy. “It's going to be a building that businesses and residents can be proud of .”

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