WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Work to remove the old Mill Creek Project office will require temporary closure of a small portion of the Mill Creek Office parking lot beginning Monday, Oct. 6 through mid-November, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials announced today.
The Corps awarded a $222,482 contract to Harry Johnson Plumbing and Excavation, Incorporated, of Walla Walla, Wash., to perform the work. The temporary closure around the old building is necessary to accommodate demolition activities and large construction-type equipment and vehicles.
For safety reasons, visitors are asked to not enter any fenced construction areas along the west side of the parking lot. Other areas of the parking lot will remain open to visitors during this time.
The old office building originated as the dam-tender’s house and soils lab in 1938. The house portion was later removed and the soils lab converted into the Mill Creek Project Office. Through decades of changing staff needs, the old office became a configuration of building additions, parts of which were more than 70-years old. By the turn of the century, it no longer met modern building codes (electrical, ADA, etc.), was not very energy efficient and didn’t meet current operations staff needs (not enough room for staff, storage, working space).
A new Mill Creek Project office was constructed during 2013 and officially opened to the public during a ceremony on April 19, 2013. The new office was designed and built with the environment in mind. With a goal of reaching LEED (Leading in Environmental Engineering Design) silver criteria, many energy-saving and environmentally sustainable features were incorporated into the building project. Some of those features include:
• High-albedo roof – High solar-reflectivity roofing material helps keep the building cooler in the summer. Roof insulation meets an R-rating of 70. The walls, which are two studs thick, feature R-rating- 40 insulation.
• High-efficiency mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems – Geothermal heating/cooling, grey water recycling, low-flow plumbing fixtures and light-detecting automatic dimmers contribute to lower energy and water consumption.
• Motion sensors for lighting control – Lights automatically turn off when a room is unoccupied.
• Operable windows for natural ventilation – A big improvement over the old office, in which bars over the windows prevented opening the windows. The heating and cooling unit can take a break when the weather is nice.
• Green power – Solar panels on the roof offset the cost of using electricity off the grid.
• Non-toxic paint, adhesives, carpet and wood finishes – Safer materials for the environment, staff and visitors.
• Flooring materials made with recycled content – Reducing the amount of materials going to our landfills.
• Drought-tolerant, native landscaping – Plants and shrubs that can naturally survive in our environment without irrigation, fertilizer or pesticides.
• Waste-conscious construction – A majority of the waste generated from construction of this building was recycled or reused.
• Operation of the Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake has helped spare the City of Walla Walla an estimated 71-million dollars in prevented flood damages since its completion in 1942.
For more information about Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake, call the Mill Creek office at 509-527-7160 or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/millcreekdam.
Release no. 14-078