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Santa Monica Hires New City Architect


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March 19, 2018 -- The architect in charge of managing a $172 million capital improvement project for the Los Angeles Zoo has been hired as Santa Monica's new City Architect, City officials announced last week.

Rebecca Abano, who managed a number of major capital programs for the City of Los Angeles, will assume the Santa Monica post next Monday with a starting annual salary of $177,804, officials said.

In addition to the Zoo improvement project, Abano oversaw the $417 million citywide capital program funded by Proposition Q approved by Los Angeles voters in 2002 to repair and renovate public safety facilities across the city.

Abano also oversaw the implementation of the Supportive Housing Program funded by Proposition HHH, a $1.2 billion bond measure passed by LA voters in 2016.

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“Rebecca’s demonstrated experience overseeing the design of Los Angeles’ first net zero energy projects and delivering several LEED certified buildings made her stand out from the rest of the candidates,” Public Works Director Susan Cline said in a statement.

“Her commitment to sustainable practices and high design standards are consistent with our goals and values, and we are thrilled to have her join our team as a seasoned leader,” Cline said.

Abano will oversee an 18-member team in the Public Works Department's Architecture Services Division, which provides planning, design and construction services for a multi-year capital improvement program that totals nearly $500 million.

The projects include the City Services Building, expected to be the "greenest" building in California history; the Civic Center Multipurpose Sports Field; the modernization of the City Yards and the expansion of Memorial Park.

Abano has worked in the municipal sector for nearly 30 years, working her way up the ranks at the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, where she served as an architectural associate and architect before being promoted to senior architect, City officials said.

Abano earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of the Philippines and a Master's from the Southern California Institute of Architecture.

She is an active member of the American Institute of Architecture and the Living Building Institute and is "passionate about sustainability and greener living," City officials said.


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