A Plan To Modernize Dominguez Seminary
The Claretian Alumni Association commissioned an architectural-engineering review of the nearly century-old Seminary building as a prelude to work being done. The architectural firm of Armet Davis Newlove Associates in Santa Monica is overseeing the project.
Seismic Study – Is the building sound and worth modernizing? The firm which directed seismic work 30 years ago reevaluated the building and found it up to code, with no major work recommended. Good to go!
Heating, Cooling and Air-Conditioning – Dominguez was built in the 1920s for young men leading a Spartan lifestyle. No air-conditioning, of course, basic plumbing, and limited heating (it’s California!). Improvements over the years have been directed fixes. Resident rooms had individual AC units installed. Financed by alumni, cooling was added to the dining room and the community room. Engineers found a general stagnation and poor air flow throughout the building. The multiple systems, installed over 40 years, are inefficient, not within code, and operating beyond their expected lifetimes. Recommended is a move from gas wall heaters and forced air heaters to electric heat pumps to cool and heat the entire building, including the Chapel and other rooms not receiving service.
Electrical – Demand on the electricity has obviously increased since the 1920s. The supply system was found inadequate for current and future needs. The main panel is in bad condition and needs to be replaced. Wiring, cabling A Plan To Modernize Dominguez Seminary and fluorescent lighting will be updated and replaced with LED fixtures. Security lighting will be improved within the building. A perimeter plan will increase programmable lighting on the property. Solar panels will be explored. Engineers recommend at least two electrical charging stations as part of the plan to equip the building for the next 20-plus years.
Plumbing – Corroding cast iron pipes carrying waste water will be replaced throughout the building. New circulating pumps for the hot water system are needed. Modernization of the individual resident bathrooms will be accomplished, with all converted to handicapped usage.
Roof – A study examined the roof and gutters, and found it in good condition.
Toxics – A study of asbestos and lead paint in the building was done and there is no need for any removal. No hazardous materials were found on the property.
Mobility – A elevator was installed 30 years ago and will need replacement as part of the modernization plan. The building has many large, wooden doors. Alumni have installed electronic openers, allowing those with walkers or using canes to better move about the building.
Expansion – The architects have envisioned a reconfiguration of the interior to provide two more resident rooms and an expansion of community space.