(Extensions of Remarks - October 21, 1996)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1939]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []



                         HON. ROBERT T. MATSUI

                             HON. VIC FAZIO

                         HON. JOHN T. DOOLITTLE

                         HON. RICHARD W. POMBO

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                        Monday, October 21, 1996

  Mr. MATSUI, Mr. FAZIO, Mr. DOOLITTLE, Mr. POMBO. Mr. Speaker, we rise 
today to pay tribute to all parties responsible for the grand reopening 
of the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium.
  Originally opened in 1927, this landmark building served for almost 
60 years as a multi-purpose venue for all manner of public gatherings, 
a forerunner of our modern community convention center. Besides hosting 
everything from operas, rock concerts, and religious revivals to 
circuses, conventions, and boxing matches, it is perhaps best 
remembered as the primary location for generations of school 
  In 1986, the city was forced to close the building due to code 
violations and structural hazards. Sorely missed, the voters approved 
an initiative in 1992 to restore and reopen the auditorium in its 
original, multi-purpose configuration.
  Phase I of the renovation began in November of 1994. The project was 
unique in that rather than commission a set of architectural plans to 
be put out to bid, the city first established a minimum scope of work 
and a maximum project budget. Then a list of secondary renovation 
priorities was developed, with instructions to address as many of these 
items as possible within the budget. Finally, the city asked 
engineering, design and construction firms to form partnerships to bid 
on the job, and instructed the winning team to work in tandem to design 
and build the project. This design/build concept gave them flexibility, 
which was essential because the cost of some of the work, such as 
seismic retrofitting, would vary depending on the methods used. Money 
saved on essential renovations has been applied to secondary 
  The result is extraordinary. In addition to the esthetic restoration 
of the building, alterations have been made to meet modern standards of 
earthquake and fire safety, and new electrical, mechanical, and 
environmental systems were installed. Accessibility was enhanced by 
adding ramps at the front and side entrances, space for wheelchairs in 
seating areas throughout the main level, new signage, and accessible 
restrooms. Today, the building looks better than ever and is more safe 
and functional than ever. Perhaps most importantly, the project has 
been completed within its budget of $10.8 million.
  For many, the auditorium represents a priceless link with the city's 
past and the history of its cultural development. Newly refurbished, it 
is one of Sacramento's's most beloved historical landmarks, especially 
among our community of veterans.
  Sacramento Memorial Auditorium is dedicated to the memory of all 
Sacramento County residents who give their lives in service to the 
United States in any of America's wars, past or future. The names of 
these men and women are inscribed in a permanent honor roll displayed 
within the building, a reminder of the terrible cost of war and a 
tribute to the price and patriotism of Sacramento residents. As part of 
the restoration, a new and expanded honor roll has been added, listing 
our fallen heroes and heroines from the Spanish-American War through 
the Persian Gulf War.
  Mr. Speaker, we ask our colleagues to join us in honoring the men and 
women who worked to make this project such and overwhelming success. We 
are proud to have such a beautiful and utilitarian monument to our 
country's fallen heroes and look forward to many years of continued use 
and enjoyment.