In the Heart of San Diego County - Dedicated 1894

Ramona Town Hall Restoration


1993 Restoration

The first phase of restoration and seismic retrofit began in 1993 after a seven year fundraising effort by the Town Hall Trustees.  Funding sources included Community Development Block Grants, PLDO Funds, and private donations.  The first phase included a new roof, seismic reinforcement to the front half of the building, finish restoration of the west wing, and complete restoration of the façade to it’s 1894 appearance, which was completed in time to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Town Hall in February 1994.  The above photo shows the Town Hall in 1994, just after completion of the first phase of restoration. 

1995 Arson Fire

After the completion of the work done in 1993 and 1994, there was sufficient funds to complete the finish work in the east wing. Then, on the evening of January 28th, 1995, just days before the work on the east wing was to commence, an arson set fire to the Town Hall, destroying the finish work that had been completed in the west wing, nearly the entire second floor, and the roof over the front portion of the building.  A brick fire wall original to the building, separating the front section from the main hall, saved it from total destruction, but set back the restoration effort. 

1998 Fire Repair

It wasn’t until November 1998 that the claim was finally settled out of court, and that work to replace what was lost in the fire, and the finish work on the east wing that should have been completed in 1995, could commence.  While the finish work on the east wing was completed in 1999,  escalating costs did not cover the costs to completely repair the fire damaged west wing and second floor.  During the lost time, the building codes changed, and a fire sprinkler system was mandated for the entire building.  Further compounding the problems facing the Town Hall was an five fold increase in insurance costs.  With all funds exhausted, the Trustees were forced to close the Town Hall in 2002.   

Current Effort

A renewed interest in completing the seismic retrofit and restoration of the Ramona Town Hall is currently underway, new committees are being formed, and plans are being made.  What truly promises to be a community project that every citizen of Ramona can take pride in is taking shape. 
Now that we have covered the back taxes,  we are seeking donations to help cover the approximate annual cost of $12,000 for insurance.  Material and monetary donations for the completion of the finish work is required to open the west wing.  The current estimate to complete the entire front portion of the Town Hall is approximately $250k for materials and labor.  (Qualified Volunteer labor will greatly reduce this estimate.)   

July 21, 2010

Construction Master Plan for Ramona Town Hall

The first priority, or phase one will be to complete East Wing, West Wing, East Office, West Office, Men’s Restrooms, Entry and Stairwell for occupancy. COMPLETED

The second priority, or phase two will be to complete second floor for occupancy and storage.

The third priority, or phase three will be to complete the main hall for public occupancy.

Phase One: Ring out electrical and complete electrical, phone, computer wiring in west wing and upstairs under supervision of electrician. Frame out soffits in west wing to accept HVAC vents. Frame fire stops in staircase chase. Frame door and platform over vault for interior heating units. Organize volunteer crews to install insulation upstairs in closets and prepare for sheetrock (1/2" material now onsite). Under the supervision of Doug Reigner, cut in vents and install ducting pipes. Inspect all plumbing systems and install gas pipes and drains for AC.

Purchase 5/8" drywall, tape, mud, nails, screws, etc. and stock west wing and upstairs. At this point we will need to get a crew to install drywall in west wing, west office, men’s restroom and stairwell. When drywall in finished we will need to complete finish including doors, jambs and trim. Next we must enlist a volunteer crew and paint the rooms with the paint that was donated. We will need to seek donations to purchase finish material including flooring, doors, and trim, hardware, and electrical finish, and bath room trim, light fixtures and miscellaneous. COMPLETED

We presently have most of the plumbing fixtures necessary to finish the men’s restroom and upstairs restroom that were donated previously.

During this time we should be seeking funding for a new chain link fence, including gate. Also we need to get donations for three furnaces and three condensers and install. We also need to pour concrete slabs at the rear to accept the condensers including running electrical power to the slabs. Our Boy Scout, Ted Dean volunteer may be building the exterior ramp, benches and flower boxes for the entry. We also need to accept any donations of labor to finish painting the exterior wood including the dormers and other trim. COMPLETED

Phase two: We must enlist volunteer crews to finish the insulation in the attic areas. We will need to enlist a volunteer crew to drywall the attic, including the central room that will be the town hall office. Next we will need to get donations for finish material, doors, jambs, hardware, flooring and any other materials necessary to finish the attic storage and office.

Phase three: The first order of business is to seek about $150,000 in funding to hire Mark Lyon to develop a architectural and structural retrofit plan for the main hall. Next we need $1.5 to $2 million in funding for construction. The construction process will depend on the scope of work outlined by the architect.




Donations Can Be Sent To:

Ramona Town Hall, Inc.

PO Box 1954

Ramona, CA 92065


Updated 05/22/15

All Rights Reserved, Copyright © 2015 Ramona Town Hall, Inc.
Ramona Town Hall,  P.O. Box 1954,  729 Main Street,   Ramona, California, 92065