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Stopgap Work to Spruce Up Auditorium

July 23, 1987|STEPHANIE O'NEILL | Times Staff Writer

The Glendale City Council voted this week to give the dilapidated Civic Auditorium a new roof, sound system and paint job, but remained split over the historic building's final fate.

The council decided on a 3-2 vote Tuesday to spend up to $450,000 for repairs to the 49-year-old building and to demolish the decaying adjacent Verdugo Swim Stadium.

But the council again was unable to agree whether to remodel the auditorium or replace it.

Council members have been divided for years over what to do about the city-owned facility on North Verdugo Road. The building is structurally sound but needs extensive repairs.

The Parks and Recreation Department has proposed a $5-million renovation plan in three phases through 1991. The plan calls for meeting rooms, kitchen facilities and 150 extra parking spaces.

Estimates for a new auditorium range from $11.5 million to $22 million.

Mayor Ginger Bremberg and Councilman Carl W. Raggio said they support renovation. However, they voted against immediate repairs after architectural funds for further renovation were deleted. The architectural recommendations could cost up to $180,000, a Parks and Recreation Department official said.

Councilman Larry Zarian said it would be a waste of money to pay for such plans without a final council approval for renovation.

"We will be doing architectural design for a building that we're not sure this body will be voting for," he warned. "The city needs, deserves and should have a new civic auditorium. . . . We might as well build one that will last for 100 years."

"I think that, ultimately, the whole building needs to be torn down," Councilman Jerold F. Milner agreed.

In April, council members held a public hearing to help decide what to do with the cavernous structure, a popular site for high school dances, antique shows and beauty pageants.

A petition signed by more than 1,000 residents favorssaving the building.

"It's very apparent to me that the community wants the building to remain but to be remodeled," Bremberg told council members Tuesday.

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