The County of Santa Cruz, which owns the Santa Cruz Veterans Memorial Building, has ordered the building closed to all persons effective last week, Thursday, January 21, 2010, due to potential life safety issues with its structure.

After being informed of problems with loose falling stucco, the County conducted a safety inspection which identified previously unknown damage to structural elements of the building. A structural assessment was then performed by an architect and a structural engineer.

Based on their initial report, the County has determined that an immediate closure of the facility is necessary pending further analysis to establish the full scope of the problem and to develop a plan for necessary repairs. It is anticipated that further testing of the building will take several months to complete.

The Veteran’s Services offices will be relocated to the County’s Emeline campus in order to minimize service disruption for those clients. The Veterans Memorial Building Board of Trustees manages the building under contract, and their staff is working with the various groups housed in the building to relocate or cancel the activities that are currently scheduled for the facility.

Joe Schultz, the County Parks Director said, “We recognize the significant disruption that closing this building will cause, but safety concerns must be primary at this point.”