San Diego Convention Center Begins Infrastructure Renovations

The San Diego Convention Center will launch the largest series of upgrades in the building’s history beginning this month.

The most recognizable project will be the renovation of the iconic Sails Pavilion, a signature symbol of the facility since it opened in 1989.  The upgrades will start with the replacement of the concrete floors, which will entail the following:

  • New concrete will be poured over the 108,450 sq. ft. space
  • Once removed, all of the old concrete will be recycled
  • The budgeted cost is approximately $3.6 million
  • The work is anticipated to start on December 8, 2016 and continue through the end of February 2017

Later in the summer of 2017, the fabric on the famous white sails roof structure will be replaced.  During this work, San Diego residents will see sections of the sails removed for the first time in 26 years.

"The exciting announcement of our renovations represents months of creative teamwork,” explains President and CEO Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, CFE. "These efforts are a result of the City of San Diego and our staff and Board of Directors collaborating on financing, procurement and scheduling to uphold the status of the San Diego Convention Center as the region’s premiere gathering place."

In June 2016, the San Diego Convention Center announced the approval of a state loan totaling $25.5 million that will finance eight projects. The loan, co-signed by the City of San Diego, is the largest ever approved by the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank).  The IBank program was created to finance infrastructure that promotes a healthy climate for jobs, contribute to a strong economy and improve the quality of life in California communities.

"This historic investment is possible because the State of California, the City of San Diego and the convention center staff and Board of Directors all came together to create a responsible funding plan that will pave the way for significant improvements of the facility,” said Laurie Coskey, Chair of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation Board of Directors. “We will be proud to share the planned improvements with our clients, as we continue to give them more reasons to return."

In addition to upgrading the Sails Pavilion, several other projects are on the horizon such as modernizing the multitude of escalators, installing new cooling towers and replacing the building’s fire alarm systems.

Although these major upgrades are being referenced together as one major renovation effort in the coming months, maintaining the building has been ongoing.  Some improvement projects have already been in progress such as converting the entire exhibit floor lights to LEDs, upgrading restrooms and renovating elevators.

"We are committed to putting funds back into the venue to ensure we maintain building excellence and continue being a good neighbor,” said Executive Vice-President and General Manager Karen Totaro. "By adding cutting edge technology, we are improving the efficiency of our operation and modernizing the look and feel of the facility."

In fiscal year 2016, the San Diego Convention Center hosted 824,276 guests and 158 events.  Scheduling the upgrades during this heavy activity is a true balancing feat.  The convention center’s dedicated staff met the challenge head-on and orchestrated the maintenance calendar with our valued clients during the busiest time in the building’s history.

Rita de la Fuente's picture
Posted by Rita de la Fuente, on December 8, 2016
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