A community theater proposed for the former site of an X-rated movie house will cost $300,000 more than anticipated mostly because of unforeseen soil problems, city officials said Monday.
Recent soil tests found that the site of the proposed Madrid Theater on Sherman Way in Canoga Park has a high water table and sandy soil that "is susceptible to liquefaction," according to a city report.
Structural engineers suggested a more expensive foundation as an alternative, according to the report.
Part of the additional cost will pay for a modified air-conditioning system that would not interfere with the acoustics of the theater, said Karen Constine, chief of staff for Councilwoman Laura Chick, who represents the neighborhood and has championed the project.
The increase will bring the cost of the project to a total of $2.9 million. Funding for the theater and other community improvement projects throughout the city will come from a $30-million federal grant and local matching dollars.
Despite the soil problems, groundbreaking for the proposed 500-seat community theater is expected in January. It will occupy the site of the Pussycat Theater. The building was there for 68 years before being demolished last year because of major earthquake damage.