The project is projected to be completed in a couple of weeks

ATASCADERO — The structure known best as the old Karate Studio attached to the back of the historic Printery building is finally being demolished. The demolition started the week of June 5 and is projected to be completed within a couple of weeks.

Though the wooden and stucco structure is not historical itself, it had had its fair share of classes and lessons taught inside its walls over the last 50 years before the Printery building was red-tagged.

“We’re using [generous donations from the community for our Red Tag Campaign] to pay for this demolition,” stated Karen McNamara, the president of The Atascadero Printery Foundation. “It’s a necessity, it [the structure] has failed terribly over the winter, and it’s ready to fall [down] by itself, so we have to make this step to take it down.” 


Currently, the portion of the building being demolished is not affecting the historical part of the Printery but has turned into a hazard.

“We do need to make sure that it’s severed completely from the main building. So we need to control it coming down. Not let it tug on the main structure as it comes down,” said McNamara. “We need to do the smart thing and get it freed from the main structure.”

The Printery Foundation hired a local Atascadero contractor, Boydston Masonry, to oversee the demolition. 

“We hired a very good competent contractor and thought the process through, and hopefully, this will be the only unforeseen incident. Just a nice little swarm of honey bees,” McNamara said of the bees they found in the wooden part of the structure.

While Atascadero News was on the premises on Thursday, June 8, beekeeper Collin Bailey arrived to safely remove the bees and move them to a new location.

As long as the rest of the process goes smoothly, the demolition will only take a couple of weeks and will be completed when the back wall of the original building is all closed in. The plan for the Printery is to add back onto the building in the same spot to house the stage and backstage area for their proposed performing arts center.

McNamara also added that in the future, they will have a stack of wood taken from the building that people can come and collect as keepsakes from their memories of using the old karate studio, but requests that if anyone wants to see what’s happening during the demolition, that they need to watch from the street.

“We have some great donations. Waste Management is going to take all the roll-offs to the dump for us,” McNamara added. “Waste Connections that owns the landfill now, they are donating the dump fees. So it’s going to help the cost of this project.” 

She also said that the Printery Foundation has applied for some large grants and keeps getting the word out to possible donors.

“This is just one step of getting the retrofit done to get the building open,” McNamara said.

To find out more about the Atascadero Printery Foundation or to donate, go to:

Feature Image: Beekeepers work to remove a swarm of bees from the part of the Printery building know as the old “Karate Studio,” so the space can be demolished and separated from the rest of the building. Photos by Christianna Marks