Thurston County is building its first LEED Gold certified facilities. These three new buildings and a remodel are located at the current Roads Maintenance site at Tilley Road. Once completed, the new buildings will house the county's Emergency Services Department and Public Works administration which currently leases space at Heritage Court in Olympia. The third building is a storage facility for equipment sensitive to freezing temperatures.
Expected to be completed in 2012, the new complex will be funded in part by a $1 million Homeland Security Grant and the issuance of 20-year Build America and Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds for a combined total of approximately $18 million. The apparent lowest bid of $13.5 million by Panattoni Construction of Seattle is well below the engineer's estimate of $14.7 million. Project managers estimate that the cost, including indirect costs, will total $18.7 million.
"The benefits of this project are many," says Central Services Director Mark Neary. "The Public Works Administration Building and Emergency Operations Center will be certified Gold LEED standard buildings using innovative technology including a geothermal heating system and rainwater harvesting. The new complex will improve efficiency by consolidating Public Works into one facility. Relocating Emergency Management from its present location will allow Medic One and CAPCOM, the county's 9-1-1 services, to accomplish much needed expansion within the existing facility. The project will also create viable work for the local community."
Currently, many Public Works functions including administration, engineering, survey, and utility and solid waste services are housed in a leased building at Heritage Court. "By year 15 of the new complex, we'll have recouped what we would have spent leasing office space," says Neary, "and the county will own, rather than lease, the space we need." After year 15, the county will save close to $500,000 per year that can be used to maintain the county owned asset as opposed to paying rent.
"The timing for this project is excellent," says County Commissioner Sandra Romero. "Bond interest and construction costs are at record lows. The project will create a Green, state-of-the art facility, resulting in significant savings through the use of solar and geothermal energy. Emergency Management's new home will be much more disaster-resistant than its current location, ensuring services to our citizens during an emergency. We'll also save time and money by locating all of Public Works in one facility."
Servicing of the debt will be paid by Roads Levy monies, which by state law, cannot be used for General Fund purposes. Details on the project are available by calling Central Services at 754-2974.