Cost To Mask Swastika-Shaped Complex Scrutinized

The cost to fix a group of buildings in San Diego that many have found terribly offensive has skyrocketed, 10News learned.

From the ground, a cluster of buildings on Naval Amphibious Base Coronado look ordinary. However, from above the buildings are constructed to form a swastika shape.

The buildings were supposed to have been modified nearly three years ago, but the complex has not been touched.

"It's hard to understand why this is taking so long. Am I angry? No. Am I disappointed? Yes," said Morris Casuto of the Anti-Defamation League.

Casuto was one of several community members who pressed the U.S. Navy to do something about the design in 2007.

"It dishonors our service people to have them living in a building in the shape of a swastika," said Casuto.

As a result, the Navy's plan was to spend $625,000 on a single-rooftop canopy to mask the design. However, that plan was quickly scrapped because many saw it as insufficient.

Navy officials told 10News it has a new, larger-scale plan to transform the current buildings into a new design that would include a series of connections to mask the swastika and at the same time create more square footage and infrastructure to support rooms and additional sailors.

The price tag for the Navy's latest proposal is between $17 million and $40 million, and it is to be submitted for the 2011 fiscal year.

"The price tag of $17 million to $40 million just doesn't make any sense to me, and as a taxpayer it's just irresponsible," said Rhonda Deniston of Oceanside-based watchdog group Stop Taxing Us.

A former member of the military, Deniston said she is sympathetic toward those who are offended by the design, but also finds the proposed cost of the Navy's plan "offensive."

"It's a perfect example of what taxpayers are talking about right now within not only the federal level, but also the state and local level, that money is being spent in incredibly irresponsible ways," added Deniston.

But what many find most surprising is that Navy officials did not become aware of the design until after the 1967 groundbreaking and decided not to do anything then.

"It seems to me that it is virtually impossible to believe that no one noticed that shape," said Casuto.