Sierra Vista Building – Possibly Another Year Before Occupancy

A whole new year will pass before the departments waiting to occupy Sierra Vista will be able to move from their now in some cases overcrowded or decrepit current quarters into the new building.

It was initially supposed to be ready for occupancy in the winter of 2016.

“The building won’t be available for 2017, but we are in a continual mode of moving the contractor forward and getting the work done,” said Anthony Culpepper, vice president of administrative services. “Our current timeline is to hopefully have it ready by spring of 2018.”

A couple of departments looking forward to occupy the new building were moved around in different accommodations. The human resources department is currently in a trailer adjacent to the tennis courts to allow the Welcome Center to use their former space.

The culinary arts department will be moving to a portable classroom which will be installed by the east side of the auditorium. They will be staying there until the completion of the Sierra Vista building.

The building was estimated to be at around 95 percent completion in April 2015 when the original contractor, MallCraft, was replaced by Toby Hayward, Inc. The takeover contractor needed to deconstruct parts of the building and this brought the percentage down to 75 percent.

“Because substantial portions of the mechanical systems lacked quality of work and workmanship, the district issued numerous construction deviations and corrections,” said Nelson Oliveira, director of facilities and construction.

Currently, the construction company is working on the air conditioning system. There are units on the building’s rooftop that blow air through horizontal and vertical ducts around the building. In the event of a fire and the alarm is pulled, the air handlers stop working, which prevents smoke from spreading throughout the building.

“If the ducts are improperly installed and sealed, the fire defenses of the building are compromised,” Oliveira said. “The additional significant issues found are related to insulation and fire sealing. They are now being addressed along with all other activities.”

The contractor is currently in the process of making sure that the building is in full compliance with the Division of State Architect standards and Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) status.

LEED has guidelines for new buildings to have a sustainable approach on energy efficiency. Sierra Vista has a silver status since it includes the use of reclaimed water as well as ground-source heating and cooling.

“The quality of work being produced by the current contractor is optimum,” Oliveira said. “It complies with our plans and specifications and meets industry standards. The district will get what we paid for: a state-of-the-art building.”