(Click on photo to enlarge.)
After approval by the Board of Directors at their September meeting, the preliminary renovations of the Main Mall located at the heart of the property began last month. Approved renovations included the addition of structural steel elements, lighting and landscape at an estimated cost of $2 million. As the central thoroughfare of the property including The Hangar and the four main exhibit buildings, Main Mall is a central element of the 2003 Master Plan, which included transforming this pedestrian mall into a scenic promenade that celebrates the property’s history as part of the Santa Ana Air Base. This phase of the renovations is expected to run from November 1, 2011 to April 1, 2012.
Since beginning last month, crews have removed the grassy center of Main Mall and begun the first stages of creating the scenic promenade with decorative concrete band as the central walkway. Next, paver stones will be added to the area. Additionally crews have removed the light poles and the ficus and palm trees in the area. The trees will be relocated to another part of the property.
Crews are completing the final landscaping as a part of the $25,000 capitol project renovations of the Gate 4 area off Arlington Drive.
As part of the tree line improvements in this area, the trees will be removed next week. Then the underground utilities will be installed. The following week crews will pour concrete to form the new curb and gutter.
In April and May, several improvements were made to meet ADA requirements, including extending existing seating platforms in the Orchestra and Terrace seating levels, as well as adding ADA- appropriate railings on both sides of the seating areas. Additionally from April to June, crews completed the sound wall painting project for maintenance purposes.
In mid-October, the extension of the steel perimeter fencing at the Blue Gate was completed as part of an upgrade of the main pedestrian entrance area.
Other Recently Completed Projects
The OC Fair & Event Center staff has been busy since April 2010 making improvements and upgrading the property. Here is a list of some of the other the many projects completed:
- Campground: In June 2011, some of the grass areas north of Lot P were replaced with asphalt to provide more exhibit space for the newly expanded Ice Museum featured during the 2011 OC Fair. In September, asphalt was also added to the area north of the gazebo to straighten the existing roadway.
- Lot I (Carnival Lot): In May 2011, the structure with restrooms and showers were removed.
- Other miscellaneous projects: re-striping of parking stalls in Lot F and large display frames added to the front of The Hangar building for Sponsor signage during Fair and other promotional uses year-round.