City-owned Centennial Hall will get a $3.7 million facelift from top to bottom.
Among the changes in store will be additional toilets — great news for anyone who’s had to stand in line for the bathroom at intermission, facility manager Steven Pfister said.
“We’re expanding the men’s and women’s bathrooms and adding a second set of bathrooms,” Pfister said. The line to use the facilities can get out of hand easily when the hall is packed with 300 people for a rock concert, he said.
“Thank God we’re getting bathrooms.”
The update will also include a new roof, the first installation of the two-phase project, city project manager Theresa Mores said.
Centennial Hall has had its current roof since the facility was built in 1983, Pfister said, and the city has been trying to replace it for about five years.
“It’s just in bad bad shape,” he said. “It has a lot of moss and plants on it.”
The City and Borough of Juneau Planning Commission unanimously approved the renovation project at its Tuesday night meeting. The item was on the consent agenda and there was no public testimony or comment from the commissioners during the meeting.
The project is still in the design phase, Mores said. The design for the new roof is almost complete. Roof construction is scheduled to start in the spring, she said.
Phase two of the construction project, the interior improvements — including the new bathrooms and plumbing, a new sound system and new performance stages — are just beginning to be designed.
According to a report by city planner Sarah Bronstein, the hall’s current sound system was installed 30 years ago and “is unreliable and not compatible with modern technology. The existing roofing material ... is obsolete and in need of replacement, as is the domestic water piping.”
Originally, Pfister said, the city planned to close the hall from mid-June through mid-October to allow for construction. He found out Tuesday the hall will remain open throughout the renovation and crews will work around rentals. He said the new plan “helps me out” because Centennial Hall is a popular event venue during the summer; now he doesn’t have to turn renters away.
“I’ve got a whole pile of reservation forms I’ve been keeping for people until we knew 100 percent what was going on,” he said.
Also at its Tuesday meeting, the Planning Commission approved an Alaska Department of Transportation project to pave 1.2 miles of gravel road in the Mendenhall Valley.
Blueberry Lane, Powers Street, Gene Street, Goat Hill Road, Lee Street, Lee Court, Spring Way, Wilma Avenue, Barrett Avenue, Bentwood Place, Sasha Avenue, Tongass Boulevard and Rivertrail Way will all be paved this summer by DOT.
According to Bronstein’s presentation, the goal of the project is to improve the area’s air quality by eliminating the gravel roads’ dust.
The area failed to meet federal air quality standards in the 1980s because of gravel dust and wood-burning stoves, but has been steadily improving since then, Bronstein said.
• Contact reporter Katie Moritz at 523-2294 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @katecmoritz.