The project was listed as a top priority by both the Ocean Beach Town Council and the Ocean Beach Planning Board. Each group sent letters of support to help secure funding for planning for the new tower.
“This lifeguard station was constructed almost 50 years ago, and the deferred maintenance, lack of improvements and recent overloading of the building have made it inadequate for our public safety personnel,” said architect John Ambert, OBPB chair.
“The exterior block walls are crumbling away, exposed metal door and rebar systems are rusting out and the plumbing systems fail regularly,” Ambert said.
Ambert added the aging lifeguard station “lacks space to accommodate the current number of lifeguards on patrol, adequate storage for equipment and cliff-side rescue equipment, functioning data and communications systems, and independent men's and women's locker rooms. The Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station is at the end of its useful life, and a new fully functioning facility needs to be constructed in its place.”
Excerpts from OBTC's letter of support for a new OB Lifeguard Station: “Last year, OB lifeguards performed more than 1,000 water rescues. … Lifeguard staffing along Sunset Cliffs was increased due to demand. … A new Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station will result in a more effective deployment of lifeguard personnel and equipment, therefore improving the safety of the public. It will also improve our public restrooms and shower facilities, which are used by thousands of visitors and tourists each year. As part of the project, we we also envision San Diego Police Department facilities to support their welcomed presence in Ocean Beach.”