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Parking Lot Improvement Sees Unexpected Delays
Community Center Work
Parked across from the Escalon Community Center, the line of equipment of Knife River Construction Company is ready and waiting to be fired up and put into service for continued parking lot improvements. Marg Jackson/The Times

They have been able to work around them, but unexpected delays have created some issues at the Escalon Community Center.

Work on parking lot improvements at the center, corner of Escalon Avenue and Arthur Road, got started but then stopped, as wet weather adversely impacted the project.

“The construction got started late and we also found a lot of deep soft spots that required some extra steps to address,” City Manager Tammy Alcantor said of the parking lot improvements.

A scheduled event at the Community Center on Saturday night, Jan. 18 – the annual Escalon Kiwanis Club Crab Feed – did go off as scheduled and Alcantor said some arrangements were made and temporary fixes added to accommodate those that needed to park in the lot.

“We had an extra police officer there and an Explorer out there to assist with the parking as well,” Alcantor added.

Meanwhile, Kiwanis Club members said the event was again a sellout, with over 300 people buying tickets for the crab feed, one of the main fundraisers each year for the local Kiwanis Club. The menu featured crab, pasta, salad and bread, with ice cream for dessert and a variety of beverages, with Ted’s Meats and Casa Grande, both out of Stockton, providing the food.

There were also raffle prizes and several volunteers came in early Saturday to get the Community Center decorated, tables set, raffle items arranged, and more.

As far as the parking lot improvements, Alcantor said Knife River Construction Company is the main contractor work and they are hoping to get back to work soon. However, the rainy weather and the discovery of the soft spots underlying the existing pavement have added another layer to the project.

“We’re hoping in the next two or three weeks to get it done,” explained Alcantor.

The twice weekly senior lunches have been moved just down the street, in the interim, to the Escalon Covenant Church.

Served Tuesdays and Thursdays, Alcantor said the church “has been wonderful” and has agreed to continue hosting the senior lunches until the Community Center is back in full service.

Among the added steps they are taking for the parking lot is to place a layer of fabric between the pavement and the rock base to prevent moisture from seeping down into the pavement and creating cracks and soft spots.

Officials had taken the Community Center out of service in December, anticipating having it back by this month. Now, it will likely be sometime in February before normal use can resume.

“We do have the Accordion Club scheduled” for a meeting in February, said Alcantor, but whether they can have the space is undetermined right now.

Overflow parking is also being added on the north side of the feed store on Escalon-Bellota Road, with that work being done by Vito Bavaro; some grindings from the old parking lot are being utilized as part of the base for that new overflow section.

Alcantor also said the city’s own Public Works crews were busy on site late last week, helping prepare it for the weekend event, making sure there was some on site parking available.

“From all reports, the crab feed went well,” Alcantor said.

Escalon Kiwanis Club treasurer Sandi McDonald looks over the variety of raffle prizes and gets them set up for tickets, helping prepare for the Jan. 18 fundraising Crab Feed hosted by the club at the Escalon Community Center. Marg Jackson/The Times