Swinerton In the News

OCLA: August 17, 2018

New Civic Center Building 16 Topped Out With A Tiny Tree

A signed steel girder was lowered, with a "good luck" tree, "topping out" Building 16, the first construction of the new civic center plaza.

It's official. The last beam was put into place at the top of the first phase of the county's multi-phase Civic Center in Santa Ana. And yes, that is a small evergreen tree that was perched carefully on top, signifying good luck in the project, officials said.

County of Orange officials gathered to commemorate the "topping out" of the new Building 16, the first of several buildings to be constructed in the multi-phase Civic Center Facilities Master Plan for the Civic Center.

As part of the topping-out event, representatives from the County, the building developer Griffin Structures Inc., project architect LPA Inc. and builder Swinerton Builders took turns signing the final beam and then watched as a crane lifted the 30-foot beam on top of the six-floor building. As is tradition in topping-out ceremonies, an American flag was attached to the beam as well as a small evergreen tree that signifies the safe completion of the structure's frame and a wish for continued good luck for the future of the project.

"The topping out of Building 16 is a historic event; it ushers in the beginning of a new era at the County of Orange," said Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman Andrew Do, First District Supervisor. "We are creating a more efficient and ecological work space while rethinking what accessing County services should look like with the new one-stop-shop resource center that will be housed here. Together, we help forge a better way of doing things for the people of Orange County."

The new building has been under construction since September 2017, when the County broke ground on the facility. As construction of Building 16 continues, it is estimated to be ready for occupancy by the first quarter of 2020.

"The construction of Building 16 is progressing according to schedule and is on budget," said Vice Chair Shawn Nelson, Fourth District Supervisor. "As someone who approved the Civic Center Facilities Master Plan and also participated in the demolition of the old, dilapidated Building 16, it's incredible to see the new, modern building turning into a reality."

The new building will provide an event and conference center planned for use by both the County and the public, approximately 250,000 gross square feet of new office space, and two levels of below-grade secured employee parking. The building will also include a consolidated, highly efficient one-stop center, where members of the public can access online services from all County departments via easy-to-use kiosks and in-person services from four County departments (Clerk-Recorder, Health Care Agency, Public Works and Treasurer-Tax Collector) via a public-serving counter.

"During my time as Chairwoman, I was excited to oversee the groundbreaking of Building 16. This new facility will provide a more efficient, and economically practical, one-stop shop for the public," said Supervisor Michelle Steel, Second District.

According to plans for Building 16, employees from OC Public Works, OC Waste and Recycling, Treasurer-Tax Collector, Auditor-Controller, Clerk-Recorder and the County Executive Office will move into the new building.

Approximate construction and affiliated costs for Building 16 are estimated to be $155 million. The building is designed to meet Essential Services Buildings Seismic Safety Act standards (structural) and minimize fire hazards, and once complete, will meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification standards. The project to build a new Building 16 is being delivered by a Public Private Partnership between the County and the Griffin Structures team utilizing tax-exempt financing with a long-term lease with the County, which will then own the facility at the end of the lease term.

"We are pleased to be partnering with experts in the private sector to build the new Building 16 in the most cost-effective way possible," said Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District. "Once completed, the new Building 16 will serve as the important beginning of the multi-phase revitalization of the entire Civic Center area in accordance with a comprehensive facilities plan."

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