Museum deadline inching closer: City not worried



Pete Banda
Managing Editor

Over the last few months, the San Benito Cultural Heritage Museum has seemingly become more and more of a headache for City officials. Despite early delays though, Mayor Pro-Temp Carol Lynn Sanchez says the City Commission is optimistic the project will be finished on time.
“The wording of the grant basically states that if substantial progress has been made on the project, the grant would be honored,” said Sanchez. “Right now, the project is about 86 percent complete and we have construction workers putting in long hours to meet the deadline.
The contract the City signed with Jones Construction back in January cited September 15 as the completion date for the museum. Even more pressing than that deadline is the $1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration that the City is using to fund the project, which is set to expire on September 27. Despite cutting it so close to the deadline, Sanchez reiterated that the wording of the grant should give the City some leeway even if the project isn’t 100 percent complete by the deadline day.

“Right now we have the shell of the museum complete, the electric work is expected to be finished by the end of he week, and we have an inspector set to take a look at the building a few days prior to the deadline day,” Sanchez added. “The commission has had a few talks about what to do if we for some reason don’t get enough of the project done in time, but I believe we should be done before that date.”
Sanchez attributed the delays to several factors, including weather conditions and issues with sub contractors.
To make matters even more complicated, Meg Jorn, the project’s local architect, was killed Wednesday morning in a tragic car crash. John Pearcy, Jorn’s partner at Megamorphosis Design, is expected to oversee the completion of the project, which Sanchez estimated could be as early as September 25, two days before the grant deadline.
“It’s not as bad a situation as originally thought,” stated Sanchez. “It’s a very realistic goal to expect this project to be completed on time as of right now.”

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