A preliminary report by the San Diego Building Inspection Department has raised questions about whether the vacated Sears department store in the Hillcrest area--which is being considered as a location for a new central library--is strong enough to withstand a major earthquake.
William Sannwald, the city's library director, said Saturday that the report is "disappointing" because "we could be in for a lot of money" to bring the store up to required earthquake-safety standards.
It's already estimated that it may cost the city as least $8 million to buy the 12-acre site at 1290 Cleveland Ave. from Sears. And while the preliminary report questioned the structure's ability to withstand a major quake, it didn't say how much it would cost to renovate the building.
"It's fine as a department store . . . but it's something else as a library," said Sannwald, describing the report which was given to the City Council late Friday afternoon by the city manager's office.