[heading]by michelle tremblay | photos by Soul of Photography[/heading]Just in time for summer, Moonlight Beach has reopened to the public, debuting a fresh look. The brains behind the makeover: Steve Dalton, lead architect of the renovation project. And as a life-long resident of San Diego’s coastal community, an avid volleyball player and beachgoer, he not only had a professional commitment to the success of the project but a personal one, as well.

Steve – who has been a licensed architect for 19 years and established his own firm in 2004 – grew up in Solana Beach, but for the past 22 years, he and his wife, Lisa, have resided in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, where they have raised their three children: Spencer (15), Eddie (12) and Chloe (8). When the Moonlight Beach renovation project came up two miles from Steve’s home, he was excited to land the role as the lead designer. “I was selected through a Request for Proposal process,” he explained. “My previous work designing lifeguard stations for Del Mar and Solana Beach helped in me being selected.”

2-t.f.-7065After imagining the buildings for so long, Steve admitted one of the most satisfying parts of the project was seeing the designs take shape. But like all construction projects, it too came with challenges. “Early design options placed the lifeguard garage on the beach near the current tower,” recalled Steve. “There was a collective gasp when we all realized the negative impact it would have on the view of the ocean from B Street.” He and his team not only resolved the problem but added a public viewing deck to the area – a place, he predicts, that will be a favorite spot for many beachgoers. “I like that the collaborative design process led to a solution that not only met the functional needs of the lifeguards but also provides a unique public amenity,” he said.

In both his professional and personal life, Steve is very involved with the community. “My firm donates up to five percent of our time per year to pro bono work and received a National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects for our Hanna Fenichel Center in Solana Beach,” he stated. “We’ve also provided services to the Boys and Girls Club of San Dieguito and Fallbrook High School.” Outside of work, Steve volunteers as assistant scoutmaster with Encinitas Troop 776 and coaches soccer in the fall.

As for the Moonlight Beach renovation, Steve has already received good feedback from members of the community. And when asked about the most rewarding part of project, he replied, “I like that I was able to have a positive impact on future generations of beachgoers.”

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Name:  Stephen Dalton
Age:  46
Community:  Cardiff-by-the-Sea
Family:  Wife – Lisa; Children – Spencer, Eddie, Chloe
Occupation:  Principal Architect, Founder Stephen Dalton Architects; www.sdarchitects.net