County is moving on emergency repairs for Gallo Center

kcarlson@modbee.comJune 10, 2014 

Supervisors took an emergency action Tuesday for the county to undertake repairs at the Gallo Center for the Arts, which was damaged by flooding over the weekend.

Patty Hill Thomas, assistant executive officer for Stanislaus County, told the Board of Supervisors that there was extensive damage to ceilings, walls and flooring inside the county-owned entertainment center in downtown Modesto. The board voted unanimously to enter a contract for emergency repairs at the expense of the insurer for the Gallo Center.

The county entered a contract with Belfor USA Group to perform emergency abatement, demolition and cleanup work. Steven Gaffney, whose architectural firm designed the $47 million center, will assist the county to assess the scope and cost of repairs. A four-fifths vote from county supervisors was required to take the emergency action.

Hill Thomas said the goal is to complete the repairs in 10 days so shows scheduled for this month can be held. Gallo Center staff members said Monday that there was no major damage to the 1,250-seat Mary Stuart Rogers Theater or the smaller Foster Family Theater.

The worst damage was in the upper and lower lobby areas. Hill Thomas said the water pipe to the ice machine at the second-floor concession stand “came apart,” causing water to run unabated for a full day. The leak occurred sometime after the center was closed early Sunday. An employee who arrived at the center about 6:30 a.m. Monday discovered the flooding.

No dollar estimate on the damage was available Tuesday. Crews needed to remove damaged ceiling tiles, wall plaster and carpeting, and were using special equipment to dry out the flooded areas.

“It’s the interior finishes that need to be restored,” Hill Thomas said Tuesday evening. “We had experts in there all day and we don’t see any structural challenges or major system challenges. We gave a clean bill of health to the elevator, and the electrical systems are good.”

She said county staff and contractors were making good progress. “We have a long way to go, though.”

The Gallo Center website still listed two Saturday performances by the The Dance Academy. The next headline event is a June 20 lecture by Dr. Eben Alexander III, author of “Proof of Heaven.” Comedian Carlos Mencia is scheduled for a show June 21.

Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at kcarlson@modbee.com or (209) 578-2321.

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