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July 07. 2014 7:52PM

Claremont closes Junior Sports League building

CLAREMONT — The Junior Sports League building was closed by city officials late last week.

The city fire safety, building code and health inspectors found numerous violations, city manager Guy Santagate said Monday.

“During the inspections it was clear what we had to do,” Santagate said.

Three major issues led to the closure: the fire alarm system is not up to current standards; there are building access issues; and the furnace is not functioning properly, he said.

The 1930s building that was once an armory is city-owned. A group of volunteers known as the Junior Sports League have run activities in the building — such as roller skating on Fridays and Sundays — for decades. The city also uses the building for basketball games.

“Safety comes first,” Santagate said. “We have a brand new community center here and we can transfer some of the programs there.”

While there is no space at the community center to accommodate the roller skating, park and recreation employees can work to create new programs for city youth, Santagate said.

It is up to the city council to determine what to do with the building, Santagate said.

The council is meeting Wednesday night, but the issue is not on the agenda, Santagate said.

“There is no funding in the budget to repair the building,” Santagate said.

The city usually budgets $16,000 a year for the Junior Sports League. During the budget process this year, Santagate recommended the city only budget $2,000 and conduct a review of whether the city should continue the current. Santagate has suggested the city find another use for the building and transfer ownership of it.

During the budget process, the city council voted to add $16,000 to keep the youth programs going.

Claremont Mayor James Neilsen and city council members toured the Junior Sports League building last month and found several matters of concern for the city, triggering the series of building inspections.

mpierce@newstote.com


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