Construction of the 63,515-square-foot district office is expected to be completed at the end of March 2014. According to Bareaa Darkhabani, director, facilities, who served as project manager, the development is ahead of schedule and under budget.
“Consequently, we were able to add many upgrades from the original design including new landscaping, roller sun shade and luxury vinyl tile (LVT) flooring at all stairs,” said Bareaa.
The five-story office building is located in the heart of MetroWest at 1768 Park Center Drive between South Hiawassee Road and South Kirkman Road and adjacent to Valencia’s West Campus.
The College will staff more than 200 employees comprised of all offices currently located at the Downtown Center, human resources at CJI, the resource development team from East Campus; and marketing and strategic communications, procurement and property management from West Campus.
Employees from these campuses have staggered move-in dates scheduled from April through May 2014. Logistics of the move will be closely coordinated to minimize disruption of College operations.
The relocation of offices to this site achieves centralization of a number of functions, the benefits of which are numerous, said Amy Bosley, vice president, organizational development and human resources.
“Being able to work face-to-face changes the way we do business. It opens up opportunities for collaboration. The open spaces amplify our ability to interact with one another in human resources and among the whole team. And we also will have savings in district travel.”
Dr. Bosley also shared that furnishings from existing offices, in addition to reclaimed furniture from the building’s purchase, will be used to curtail costs.
Among the building’s amenities are a fifth floor event space (a large general purpose conference room that will host foundation and board functions) with an outdoor terrace, a third-floor break area with vending that will serve the entire building and disabled parking underneath the building that features easy access to elevators. A surface lot will accommodate employee and visitor parking needs.
“Initially we were seeking only Green Globes certification due to budget restraints,” said Bareaa. Green Globes, an alternative to LEED , is a rating system that demonstrates excellence in the practice of energy, water and environmental efficiency in commercial buildings. “So far we achieved one globe, which is a higher level than certification, and we might make it to two globes at the final assessment.” Among the building’s green features is a new chilled water HVAC system.
The property, owned by the Valencia College Foundation, was purchased in August 2012 at a cost of $3.1 million and frees up as much as 30,000 square feet of space on campuses for academic and instructional support purposes on the East and West Campuses and at CJI, according to Keith Houck, vice president of operations and finance.