Flooded Opera Hall repairs under way

Christina O'Haver, The Union Democrat /

The Sonora Opera Hall is expected to reopen March 1, after closing earlier this month due to flooding from a broken water line.

City of Sonora staff and the BELFOR property restoration company met at the Washington Street building on Monday, where they discussed progress and set the reopening date, City Administrator Tim Miller said.

The city closed the building after staff arrived on Jan. 14 for a routine maintenance check and discovered flooding in the kitchen, hallway, storage areas and meeting room, Miller said.

They identified the source as a broken water line in the attic, which burst during January's cold spell.

The damage to the 127-year-old building is estimated at $100,000, which is covered by the city's risk management and excess insurance coverage after a $1,000 deductible, Miller said.

The kitchen, built in 2003, will be restored in about two weeks, he said. Repairs include painting and reinstalling wainscotting, countertops and appliances.

The hall's 17-year-old wood flooring was damaged and has been removed along with the underlying insulation and drywall.

Replacing the flooring will be the final step in restoring the building, Miller said.

Events scheduled at the venue have been canceled,postponed or relocated.

A town hall meeting with newly-elected Mother Lode Congressman Tom McClintock scheduled for Wednesday at the Opera Hall will instead be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors chambers at 2 S. Green St. in Sonora.

Gold Rush Charter School has cancelled its "Valentine's Dance" but will schedule a "Spring Fling" in its place.

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