Majority of city-owned buildings in bad shape, report finds

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SAN DIEGO — Two-thirds of the city-owned buildings leased to tenants in San Diego are in poor condition, including some of the most heavily used facilities, according to a report delivered Wednesday to the City Council’s Infrastructure Committee.

The report — which Councilwoman Myrtle Cole called “concerning” — was the latest in a series of condition assessments of city assets as officials try to determine the true extent of a multibillion-dollar backlog in capital and maintenance projects.

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It covered 133 buildings supported by the city’s general fund and leased to tenants such as museums, theater groups and community organizations.

Of those, 89 were in bad shape, including the San Diego Civic Theatre and parking garage in the downtown civic center complex, according to the report.

Many of those rated in poor condition are in Balboa Park, including the San Diego Air & Space Museum, international cottages, Spanish Village art studios, Veterans Museum and Memorial Center, and parts of the Old Globe. Other parts of the Old Globe were found to be in good shape.

The biggest problems were in heating and air conditioning, electrical systems and interior finishes.

While the majority of buildings were in bad condition, 31 of those studied were considered “good.” Among them were the Museums of Art, Man and Natural History, the San Diego Hall of Champions sports museum and World Beat Cultural Center.

The report will “really get us on the right trajectory moving forward in terms of understanding how to prioritize these projects and where the investments need to be made,” committee Chairman Mark Kersey said.

The committee members voted unanimously to forward the report to the full City Council.

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