The Mendocino Transit Authority’s (MTA) new bus maintenance facility in Ukiah was dedicated last night. Representatives of MTA, TLCD Architecture, GHD, Arntz Builders, and members of the community attended the dedication, which included dinner for the guests. Jeff Blechel, TLCD Architecture’s Designer and Project Architect led a tour of the impressive new facility.
This project serves as the core maintenance facility for Mendocino County’s bus fleet. In addition to maintenance bays the project includes shops, storage, fueling, and vehicle wash facilities. The project was designed to minimize operational and maintenance costs, and to provide a strong visual presence from the adjacent freeway.
A dramatic, “sawtooth” roof defines the facility. This configuration allows for north facing clerestory windows that maximizes daylight harvesting while providing the ideal orientation for rooftop photovoltaic panels. Prefinished insulated metal panels are attached directly to the metal structure, a simple and cost-effective alternative to a traditional stud wall. These panels do not require painting or maintenance and are one of many sustainable features of this project. The metal panels sit on a base of patterned concrete block walls that provide protection from vehicles. The north wall is constructed of hardwood “rainscreen” that references the local timber industry and nearby lumber mill.
On June 30th, Alan Butler concluded a two year term as President of the Redwood Empire Food Bank. Alan got involved with the Food Bank five years ago because they had a need for somebody who could give architectural form to needs and requirements for a new facility, as their existing building was outdated and too small for their growing initiatives. Over the last four years, Alan has helped to develop a program and designs for a new building and developed a cost model for the project. As part of this planning process, he visited food banks all over the country, including Portland, Chicago and Kansa City, documenting evolving trends in food bank operations.
During the two years of his presidency, the food bank successfully raised over $7 million for new facilities. Of his tenure, Alan says, “It’s been an incredible two years in that we’ve been able to raise the money and buy the building. Next January it will open with a much wider range of services than we were previously able to offer.” In January of this year, a new building was purchased for $5 million, and on Friday, June 29th the Food Bank accepted an offer to sell their old facility on Industrial Drive. New programs in the improved facilities will have a healthy focus, and include nutrition and diabetes wellness education. Says Alan, “The goal of these programs is to assist people in living healthy lives, which in turn helps them escape the cycles of generational poverty.”