Fillmore USD Approved for an Additional $3 Million in Matching Funds for Career Technical Education Facility

Fillmore Unified School District Approved for an Additional $3 Million in Matching Funds for Career Technical Education Facility

Westgroup Designs continues to secure DSA approval, bidding and construction as the campus project advances. These actions have resulted in a total of $6 Million in matching funds from the State of California reserved for the new construction of the Career Technical Education Facility on the Fillmore High School campus. 

Westgroup Design’s architectural solution will bring two new CTE buildings to the campus that will support Transportation (i.e. automotive) and Agriscience/Agricultural Mechanics pathways. The facilities will give students hands-on experience with state-of-the-art automotive diagnostics and repair equipment, greenhouse horticulture, and wood, metal and CNC fabrication.

“It’ll be a breath of fresh air onto the campus and into the community,” said Superintendent Dr. Adrian Palazuelos, and will allow the District “…the ability to realize the dream of creating the facility that our students deserve.”

As part of Fillmore USD’s facilities improvement efforts at Fillmore High School, Westgroup Designs is overhauling the campus electrical infrastructure to support future projects, such as a new Gymnasium, Performing Arts Center, and Administration, as well as modernization of existing classrooms.

In addition to work with Fillmore USD, Westgroup Designs is currently finishing construction of two High School campuses for Garden Grove USD that was made possible by $40 million of State AB 300 seismic replacement funds WD’s fast-track design solution secured. The construction is more than 85% complete, with the work phased to allow the campus to remain open without the need of interim housing.

See the District’s full press release here.

Contributor

Ken Ong, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

WD Helps District Secure $3 Million in State Matching Funds

WD Helps District Secure $3 Million in State Matching Funds

In May, Fillmore USD secured $3 million in Career Technical Education project funds for Fillmore High School. Westgroup Design’s architectural solution will bring two new CTE buildings to the campus that will support Transportation (i.e. automotive) and Agriscience/Agricultural Mechanics pathways. The facilities will give students hands-on experience with state-of-the-art automotive diagnostics and repair equipment, greenhouse horticulture, and wood, metal and CNC fabrication.

“It’ll breathe a breath of fresh air onto the campus and into the community,” said Superintendent Dr. Adrian Palazuelos, and will allow the District “…the ability to realize the dream of creating the facility that our students deserve.”

As part of Fillmore USD’s facilities improvement efforts at Fillmore High School, Westgroup Designs is overhauling the campus electrical infrastructure to support future projects, such as a new Gymnasium, Performing Arts Center, and Administration, as well as modernization of existing classrooms.

In addition to work with Fillmore USD, Westgroup Designs is currently finishing construction of two High School campuses for Garden Grove USD that was made possible by $40 million of State AB 300 seismic replacement funds WD’s fast-track design solution secured. The construction is more than 50% complete, with the work phased to allow the campus to remain open without the need of interim housing.

See the District’s full press release here.

Contributor

Ken Ong, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

San Bernardino County Sheriff Celebrates Grand Re-Opening

San Bernardino County Sheriff Celebrates the Grand Re-Opening of The Frank Bland Regional Training Center

WD’s design doubles the size of facility to enhance the delivery of programs to one of the state’s top recognized law enforcement training academies while creating a new civic face to the community.

Students and staff at the Frank Bland Regional Training Center in San Bernardino will return to their training programs in an expanded, modern facility with state-of-the-art digital technology.

The Frank Bland Regional Training Center has provided essential law enforcement training to Sheriff’s Deputies and officers throughout the State since 1973. As a recognized leader in progressive law enforcement training by Peace Officer Standards and Training, or POST, the Training Center graduates an average of 300 students each year between its programs.

View the original article from San Bernardino County.

 

The 3 R’s of Transforming Aging Properties for Tomorrow

The 3 R’s of Transforming Aging Properties for Tomorrow

In order to unlock hidden value in aging buildings and to avoid functional obsolescence, it is imperative to consider a different set of R’s to accommodate the needs of 21st century companies: Refresh, Re-Image and Redevelop.

For many, the mention of the “Three R’s” will conjure up an association with “Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmetic”. Teaching standards have evolved considerably from the last century due to the influence of technology but also from an understanding that subject learning in isolation is insufficient. In today’s global economy, critical thinking and collaboration are vital to success in virtually every field.

A similar fundamental shift is occurring in how buildings are evolving to accommodate the needs of 21st century companies and their largest expense, the employees. The workplace in the era of Mad Men’s Don Draper was over 500sf per employee. Today, the standard is 60% less. Yesterday’s workplace was walled-off, rigid, single-use spaces tethered to equipment and files. Today’s workplace is open, flexible, multi-functional spaces that can pivot and adjust to the demands of both individuals and teams. Yesterday’s workplace showed little concern for environmental health and utilized energy-intensive building systems. Today’s workplace is conscious of the impact of off-gassing in carpets and paints and recognizes the effects natural daylighting can have on energy use, employee wellness and company productivity.

In order to unlock hidden value in aging buildings and to avoid functional obsolescence, it is imperative to consider a different set of R’s: Refresh, Re-Image and Redevelop.

Refresh

Many older properties can be dramatically improved by simple changes to existing finishes. Depending on the scope of work and choice of materials, such “refreshes” may well be considered base building repairs rather than capital improvements or alterations. Primary benefits:

  • Lower cost
  • Minimal disruption to existing users and core business

An example of such an approach was a WD project for a utility company. WD was enlisted to refresh an existing mid-century building at a multi-building regional service facility. Our approach was to incorporate elements from the company’s branding (color, typography, logo) to create a refreshed look for the dated architecture that improved the company’s visibility to the community.

Orange County Renovation

Re-Image

While some properties can take advantage of a simple “Refresh”, the majority of older properties require a greater level of consideration to “Re-Image”. Buildings constructed prior to 1990’s American Disabilities Act should be evaluated for deficiencies and establish appropriate measures needed to achieve compliance. Property owners should be aware that accessibility requirements extend beyond common components of the building (e.g. restrooms) and includes elements such as signage graphics and pedestrian site circulation.

For projects in California, another critical consideration is Title-24 and CalGreen standards. Thresholds exist for additions and alterations in both square footage and construction permit valuation that can trigger compliance requirements with current energy code standards. One small example: altering as little as 10% of existing luminaires triggers the need for dimming controls and occupancy sensors.

WD was recently involved with Re-Imaging a circa 1970, 4-story office building by noted California architect Craig Ellwood. Iconic in outward appearance, the building is sub-par by today’s Class-A workplace standards with 14,000sf floorplates, 8’-9” ceilings, ADA non-compliant restrooms and a 120’ long corridor as the main lobby.

WD analyzed structural, mechanical and life safety elements in order to create open ceilings up to 12’ clear with exposed structure at typical floor tenant spaces. New high performance window films were employed to improve thermal performance while reducing glare and improving interior daylighting. The building core was analyzed to make use of underutilized space to create ADA-compliant restrooms.

The most visible change greets building occupants and visitors alike the minute they walk in the building: the existing hallway “lobby” expanded to create a shared building amenity space featuring huddle booths, coffee bar with lounge seating and informal wifi-enabled interaction areas.

Orange County Tenant Improvement

Redevelop

Buildings that can literally no longer support their original purpose are candidates for Redevelopment. Properties may have fallen into disrepair from deferred maintenance or are sitting vacant or underutilized because of economic conditions. Asset components and systems must be evaluated to establish re-use or alteration potential, with careful consideration given to environmental mitigation that may be necessary. Redevelopment of former industrial properties into mixed-use occupancies generally requires close coordination with community zoning and traffic constraints. Successfully executed, Redevelopment of obsolete properties can create immense value and significantly improve the communities around them.

WD created a Redevelopment plan for a derelict, 361,000sf LA Times newspaper production facility in Costa Mesa, CA. Careful analysis of the existing facility, accompanying 21-acre site, and city zoning codes resulted in a vibrant, adaptive-reuse vision for the existing structure, while unlocking site potential for new office and residential components totaling an additional 420,000sf. To support the higher density use, structured parking was employed to minimize existing hardscape and create a 1.6-acre linear park amenity. Project sustainability measures include a 1.4-megawatt high-efficiency, rooftop solar array that offsets energy consumption within the adaptive-reuse building by 36%, as well as a site solution that employs drought-tolerant landscaping, grey-water irrigation systems and onsite storm water management.

Orange County Redevelopment

At Westgroup Designs, we apply the fundamentals of the 3 R’s every day to help clients maximize the performance and value of their existing properties.

Contributor

Ken O_small

Ken Ong, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

WD Helps District Secure $40 Million in AB 300 Funds

WD Helps District Secure $40 Million in AB 300 Funds

On June 30, Garden Grove USD secured $40 million in AB 300 funds for two high school campuses. Westgroup Designs completed the design of 210,000 SF at both sites with tier 1 and tier 2 DSA/OPSC approvals in less than nine months.

“I am thrilled and relieved that the State Allocation Board has provided facility hardship approvals under the Seismic Mitigation Program for La Quinta and Pacifica High Schools,” said Margaret Brown, Garden Grove USD’s Director of Facilities. “The State’s multi agency process for approving the plans and specifications is both demanding and complex. We need the best consultants working collaboratively to get the design right while meeting strict deadlines. Westgroup Designs led the team and was able to build consensus for a new design. These rebuilt schools will serve students and staff, as well as parents and the community, for decades to come.”

As part of Garden Grove USD’s facilities improvement efforts, Westgroup fast-track designed a total of 18 new buildings and six modernized existing buildings at La Quinta and Pacifica High Schools in order to meet the bi-annual deadline to secure AB 300 funds. In addition, the projects’ designs are strategically phased in construction as to not interrupt the day-to-day education activities of each campus.

In addition to their work with Garden Grove USD, Westgroup Designs is currently finishing construction of the $42 million Newcomb Academy from Long Beach USD that utilized $18 million of AB 300 funds.

Keys to the Success in Securing and Maximizing AB 300 Funds

1. DSA/OPSC Approvals – Successful approvals hinge on three core elements: trust relations, technical knowledge and funding knowledge. An architecture firm must have deep familiarity with government agencies, and a combination of both technical and funding knowledge enables the firm to effectively strategize the design process in order to maximize funding. With these three strengths, Westgroup’s in-house experts were able to negotiate with OPSC about funding concerns and strategically calculate the funds in accordance with the design.

2. Creative Design Solutions – Complex projects in need of fresh and modernized design elements must undergo strategic planning so as to expedite agency approvals. In order to fully aid Garden Grove USD, Westgroup created solutions that honed in on cost efficient design—not simplified design—in order to maximize the space of the campuses with the funding at hand.

3. Timing – Time is money, and transferring students to a different school or renting interim classrooms while facilities undergo construction is expensive and disruptive for educational delivery. Westgroup’s solution concentrated on a strategic, fast-track and complex phasing to rid the need of interim housing altogether, thereby allowing for day-to-day classroom activities to continue undisturbed.

Contributor

Paul A_small

Paul Andersen, Ed.D

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