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Remarks to Board of Supervisors in Support of the Epicentre

Good Morning Chair Fletcher, Supervisors, and Staff,

My name is Tommy Hough, I’m a resident of Mira Mesa, and I serve as a San Diego County Planning Commissioner. I’d like to speak in favor of the Capitol Improvement Needs Assessment (CINA), and ask that funding consideration be given now to the Epicentre in Mira Mesa for the upcoming fiscal year.

I was an enthusiastic supporter of the transfer of the Epicentre from the city to the county, and my Mira Mesa neighbors and I truly appreciate the leadership of Supervisor Lawson-Remer and her team on this matter.

The Epicentre was opened in 1999 across from Mira Mesa High School as a coffeehouse and after-school locale for kids so they had a safe space to go after school, and being in the same parking lot as the Mira Mesa Senior Center in the old library structure it was a handy spot for mom and dad to pick the kids up at.

Talk to anyone who attended Mira Mesa High School from 1999 to 2015 and they’ll have a story about the Epicentre. Over time, the Epicentre also became a venue for local arts and theater productions and workshops, and evolved into a cultural center for our diverse Mira Mesa community.

Sadly, its closure by the city in 2016 after the facility’s concessionaire left sent the Epicentre structure into a downward spiral of abandonment, and the toll that abandonment has taken on the building is considerable. According to a recent survey of the site, the damage is much worse than first estimated.

We expected the county to include an additional $4.3 million needed to complete restoration of the facility in the upcoming 2022-23 fiscal year budget. Unfortunately, when the county released its preliminary capital project list, funding for the Epicentre was delayed to the following year. The Epicentre is an urgent priority for our Mira Mesa community. I’d like to ask you to prioritize needed funding for this project in the CINA now so students, residents, and our community can once again utilize this unique neighborhood asset, meeting space, and facility.

Thank you for your kind consideration.