Volunteers have shown up in droves to the Hanford Carnegie Museum to complete the repairs on the city’s “punch list” since city staff handed down a 10-day ultimatum.
On August 23 the museum received a letter from Community Development Director Darlene Mata that repairs needed to be completed by September 3 or the museum would be evicted from the city-owned building.
The final decision would be made by Mata’s boss, interim Hanford City Manager Mike Olmos who visited the museum last week. But the buck stops with the Hanford City Council. According to the City of Hanford’s website their September 3 meeting has been canceled. Their next scheduled meeting will be held on September 17.
The Carnegie Museum has a long-term lease with the city to rent the 115 year-old building in exchange for all maintenance including HVAC, roof and structural repairs.
Patricia Dickerson, museum director, said that the last item on the list of 18 repairs is the wrought iron fence and that a crew of volunteers will be working on it all weekend. The wrought iron fence that surrounds the property has rusted over the years and needs to be power-washed, sanded, and repainted.
“We will be out between now and 9:59am Tuesday morning,” she said.
Dickerson said that the city’s strict time-line has mobilized residents and community groups such as the high school ROTC and AMVETS to complete repairs that normally would have take months given the museum’s small group of volunteers.
Mata will be out at the museum 10am Tuesday morning for a last inspection before determining if the city will evict the museum. It is Dickerson’s and Mata’s understanding that members of the city council will not be involved in the inspection though no explanation was given why.
“I would love the city council to come out and see what we have done,” said Dickerson.
Sylvia Gonzales Scherer, president of the board of directors, has also encouraged city council members to visit the museum. She and Dickerson encourage the public to attend the inspection Tuesday morning.
One item on the list that obviously has not been fixed are the cracks in the building. The museum hired Lane Engineering in April to evaluate cracks in the tower and the company said that the building was stable.
In a city inspection on August 20 Mata noticed additional cracks and put them on the city’s repair list.
Dickerson said it was her understanding that the city has also been in consultation with Lane Engineering. The company has informed the city that fixing cracks in historic brick buildings is a long process and not something to be included in a “punch list.”
Anyone interested in helping the museum this weekend can call Dickerson at 559 482-4255.
“People from everywhere have come out to help–even the Comcast worker,” said Dickerson.