Rendering of Mendocino College’s Willits Center Satellite Campus | TLCD Architecture
On Friday November 2nd, the Los Angeles Times ran a story written by Lee Romney highlighting the many issues confronting rural Community Colleges: Rural Community Colleges Face Distinct Challenges. Featuring long-time TLCD client Mendocino College, the article also includes a photo gallery with a number of images of life on the College’s Ukiah campus. Describing the role of Mendocino College in the communities it serves, the article discusses the coming changes that may impact both its role in those communities and the courses and services it can offer its students. Highlighting TLCD’s recently completed Library and Learning Center as an indication of the kind of investment the District has made to provide first-class facilities for its student population, the community’s strong support for the College is demonstrated by the resources residents have committed to this district.
Rural community colleges operate within a particular set of constraints. With smaller student populations spread over geographically large regions, the ability to deliver educational services can in part be related to student’s access to facilities. We have seen through our work with Yuba College on their Student Center in Clearlake as well as our ongoing projects with Mendocino College for their Lake Center and the Willits Center campuses, how the strategic addition of satellite facilities can greatly expand a community colleges’ ability to serve their students and their communities by improving student’s access. Encompassing classrooms, computer resource facilities, small libraries/ learning centers, and faculty offices, satellite campuses can provide access to college facilities without the need to travel to the main campus.
Development of the support infrastructure including production facilities and purpose-designed distance education classrooms for implementation of technologies such as Yuba College’s eLearning and Mendocino College’s Distance Education programs can further serve to broaden access to educational opportunities available to rural community college students.
When it’s burgundy. And gold. And pink and yellow and, perhaps, four or five shades of green.
Vegetated (“Green”) roofs have historically been used to reduce storm-water run-off, to replace vegetation that would otherwise be lost at the building footprint, to provide energy savings by buffering the roof membrane from the ambient air temperature and to extend the service life of the roof membrane by shielding it from UV exposure. Originally seen as one of several features of the project to reduce the water-quality impacts of impervious surfaces on the project site and to improve energy performance, the vegetated roof on the Mendocino College Library Learning Resource Center is an example of how a design decision made in support of sustainability goals can also yield extraordinary aesthetic results.
The roof is comprised of a single-ply roof membrane and tapered insulation with the plants contained in 12 by 24 inch LiveRoof trays provided by Florasource, Ltd. installed over a protection membrane. Heavy-weight roof pavers and ballast complete the roof components. Working with Landscape Architect Quadriga, the decision was made to use the tray module as an organizing element. Selecting from the 300 or so species of sedum available, trays containing five different sedum species have been arranged mosaic-like into a design featuring waves of color spreading across the roof surface. Pavers and ballast are used to bound the edges of the plant material and essentially providing a frame for the composition.
Located immediately outside a class room and adjacent to an outdoor terrace area, the vegetated roof provides both welcome views from inside the classroom and a colorful foreground element for the views of the hills rising to the south west of the site.
Sun shades at the South Elevation
View from the “Book Box”
View of plaza from library balcony
View from the north east
Progress continues on the Mendocino College LLRC, with completion now scheduled for May 2012. Midstate Construction has averaged 40 mechanics onsite daily recently with work proceeding in virtually every corner of the building and all across the site.
The dry winter has allowed work on the site to proceed unabated, with the concrete site walls and flatwork complete. The stage is complete and work is underway on installation of the seating platforms. The favorable weather allowed the exterior work on the building to progress, with the sun shading devices on the south widows now complete and installation of the support system for the cementitious panels underway. The planting trays for the vegetated roof are onsite, with the plants acclimating to the College’s micro climate while the irrigation and other preliminary work is completed to prepare the roof for their installation later in February.
With the access floor in the main library space complete and with interior storefront installation underway, you can get a sense of the space in its final form. The main library space (the “book box” as it has come to be known) is a very powerful space, with a ceiling that slopes to 25 feet at its high point and north-facing clerestory windows balancing daylight in the space with the large windows facing south. Both the north and south windows feature power operators to allow coordinated opening for natural ventilation. The views to the south from the library are truly extraordinary. Off the main library to the east is a balcony overlooking the plaza bounded by the new LLRC and the Lowery Building, which will be converted into a new student services center as soon as the LLRC is complete and occupied.
While the construction work onsite is progressing, the furniture packages for the building have been bid and awarded, with the submittal process well under way. Suzanne Nagorka, our Interior Design Director, has been reviewing the vendor’s submittals and expediting their coordination of power and data requirements in order to ensure that the furniture will arrive and be installed in time for the building’s opening.
The new LLRC will be open to students for the start of classes in the fall of 2012.
Friday night June 11th from 8:30 to 12:30AM, Hoptown will be playing at the Twin Oaks Tavern (5745 Old Redwood Highway) in Penngrove. I’ll be debuting my new banjo and will be playing parts of the first two sets, but there will be plenty of regular rock and roll from the band as well. There’s no cover, and the Twin Oaks gets good notices for reasonable drink prices and being a friendly place to spend an evening.
On Wednesday December 16th, a significant milestone in the Kaiser Santa Rosa project was reached when the new emergency fuel tank was landed on its pad. The project, which grew out of a conversation with the Hospital in January 2009, involves adding a new 15,000 gallon above-ground fuel tank with provision for an additional 15,000 gallon tank in the future in the yard at the hospital. Currently, the hospital is served by a 10,000 gallon underground tank that is 22 years old and reaching the end of its service life. The new tank and fuel system will allow the hospital to decommission their existing underground tank at a future date while keeping emergency systems available without interruption.
Trailer and tank blocking traffic on Mendocino Ave.
Missed it by that much . . .
Backing the tank down the fire lane, there wasn’t much room for error. Here, he avoids a light standard by ¾ inch. It should be noted that the driver kept his elbow out the window for the entire time he was backing this massive tank down a very narrow fire lane.
The tank leaves the trailer.
Two men spin the 45,000 pound tank with two lines.
Of course, the tank was oriented backwards on the trailer, so it had to be rotated 180 degrees.
The tank has landed.
And there it is.
While this isn’t the most photogenic project we’ve done for the Hospital, when completed our work will significantly improve the hospital’s ability to serve our community.
We got authorization from the Owner in May and were able to permit the project through OSHPD and have the tank onsite 7 months later, which is testimony to the good work of Chris Baumbach and Simon Hsieh and the working relationships we’ve developed with HMH, Peterson Mechanical and OSHPD.