The County of San Diego formally opened three new environmentally-friendly buildings on its Kearny Mesa campus Tuesday adding 300,000 square feet in office space and a 15,000 square foot conference center and café.
These latest additions to the $294 million County Operations Center development project came in under budget and on time; and helps promote the one-stop shopping concept when doing business with the County.
“The idea was to consolidate County services on a campus that combines green buildings with beautifully landscaped outdoor areas,” said County Board of Supervisors Chairman Ron Roberts, a former architect. “The design goal was to create good civic architecture that better served the public and our employees alike. What we have achieved is a spectacular success.”
“This is going to provide great benefits to the public, improve County efficiency and do so in a manner that is aesthetically pleasing and earth-friendly,” said Vice Chairman Greg Cox.
This step in the development project mirrors the previous one in that energy efficiency and natural lighting play a key role in the office space. The campus incorporated more drought-tolerant landscaping and the conference center/café building features photovoltaic panels and a garden roof.
“Visitors can also take advantage of the Campus Center café’s indoor and outdoor dining. The upstairs terrace offers views of the rooftop garden and surrounding plaza.” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “Fitness buffs can use their smart phones to work out on the new outdoor fitness circuit.”
Two similar four-story office buildings, a central plant, utility infrastructure and a multi-level parking structure with 1,800 parking spaces were completed in October, 2010.
Supervisor Pam Slater-Price said, “The office buildings which opened in 2010 both won Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification. The new buildings were also constructed to gold and platinum standards.”
Moving County departments is also saving taxpayer money.
“Ten departments moved some or all of their services from leased space to this campus,” said Supervisor Bill Horn. “The County is saving about $2.5 million a year in leases and that money is being reinvested in publicly owned buildings.”
The next development phase begins next month with the construction of a new 113,000 square foot Registrar of Voters building and is scheduled to open December 2013.