Progress Report: What's New in the Sails Pavilion

Another milestone has been met in the ongoing renovation and enhancement of one San Diego's most iconic locations.

The original blue colored steel masts that had held up the Sails Pavilion roof since 1989 have been removed and replaced with the "next generation" that will hold up the brand new roof. A total of 10 masts were carefully removed from their position 30 feet above the exhibit floor. They serve to support the roof, and their removal required a delicate balancing act.

President & CEO Rip Rippetoe called this part of the capital improvement project of the 90,000 sq. ft. exhibit space a huge achievement, noting "This is the point where we are truly out with the old and in with the new."

The new masts are now white and will support the new fabric roof which is expected to be put into place in December. Here's a fun fact: as part of our sustainability goals, the steel masts were able to be recycled, a total weight of 63,900 pounds. That's about the weight of two anchors on Disney Cruise Ship (which sails out of the Port of San Diego!)

The $10.5 million renovation process began in late September. The project is a collaborative effort between several project partners including Birdair, Baker Electric, Kinsman Construction, Siemens, American Scaffold, Smart Safety and Barnhart-Reese.

"We have aquired the top talent in the tension-structure industry on this capital project," said Karen Totaro, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the San Diego Convention Center. "Their work is well known across the globe, which is critical for this caliber of an iconic roof and the San Diego Region."

The overall look of the second-generation fabric Sails roof (made of PTFE - teflon coated fiberglass fabric) will remain the same as the original roof. 

Here are some fun facts about the project.

This renovation project is just one of the many infrastructure improvements and enhancements underway at the convention center. A loan from the California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank) to finance $25.5 million in capital improvement projects in June 2016 has helped fund many of these projects. That's in addition to the San Diego Convention Center's ongoing investments in its capital projects and building maintenance.

Watch this video update of the latest work in the Sails Pavilion.


Barbara Moreno's picture
Posted by Barbara Moreno, on November 7, 2017
Attendees, Meeting Planners


Nice presentation, Barbara.

Manny Cruz

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