LONG BEACH—The Long Beach Area Boy Scouts are waiting on city officials to offer a resolution to the renewal of its Sea Scout Base lease, but still plan to move forward with upgrades to one key component of the facility.
The waterfront sea base, which serves about 100 Sea Scouts in about 12 different Sea Scout ships, has sat at its Alamitos Bay location, adjacent to the Second Street Bridge, for nearly six decades. The facility is used for Boy Scout meetings, and daily marine-based activities.
Delay withstanding on the lease that runs through the end of 2014, Sea Scout Executive Director John Fullerton said he is optimistic about the future of the sea base given the relationship between the city and his organization.
“It’s our option to renew,” Fullerton said. “There are two five-year options that we have … Evidently it’s at the city and the city attorney’s office.”
The Scouts delivered a letter to the city on April 23 informing them of a decision to go through with the first five years of the option. Fullerton said the terms would remain the same. The city leases to the Boy Scouts for $1 a year, according to media reports.
“My understanding, it’s really at our option,” Fullerton said. “I guess that we’re going to operate under the assumption that it’s going forward unless we hear otherwise from them.”
Representatives from the city manager’s office and the Parks, Recreation and Marine Department did not respond for a comment at press time.
The Long Beach Sea Scouts, along with Long Beach Yacht Club, recently hosted the Seventh Biennial William I. Koch Sea Scout Cup. In preparation for the event, an issue with the second story deck was revealed and the governing board took quick initiatives to fix the issue prior to hosting the international cup.
“That was our target,” Fullerton said. “What ended up happening is the supports coming out were smaller than what was actually stacked. To make up for the difference in height, the [original builders] added two extra inches of mortar.”
Repairs needed include the chipping out of the tile, putting new ply wood down, installing steel supports underneath and applying light-weight decking material to the surface and replacing the railing. The process to fix the deck would take six weeks. Funding has been approved by the board, and, according the Fullerton, repairs would cost about $93,000.
The Sea Scouts sent two separate requests—one on March 5 and another on April 16—to city officials for permission to repair the deck. The first was denied reportedly due to key officials being unavailable to approve the project, but the second was granted in early May. And after city staff was notified the renovation didn’t need California Coastal Commission approval, it was too late to begin work on the deck before the start of the Cup.
Since that time, Fullerton said the base has received a proper permit to proceed with the repairs, which will likely happen in August or September. He stressed that while the Sea Scouts have had a great relationship with the city, the organization was saddened that the process was unnecessarily strung out.
“We wanted to present to the world a really nice space,” he said. “We were disappointed.”
Despite the inaccessible deck, Fullerton said the event went off without a hitch. The Sea Base’s cantilever deck dates back to 1966. Fullerton said it was not in danger of falling down, but officials wanted to take extra precaution to ensure safety.