In October 2017, the County of San Diego embarked on a mission to create a cultural centerpiece and recreational gathering place for residents and tourists in Borrego Springs. The result: a new library, an expansive park, and a sheriff’s office.
Harris provided construction management services for this 15-month project. Because of the location in a remote desert on a flood plain, Harris carefully considered the impact of runoff and ensured preservation of all existing natural areas, soils, and vegetation. Harris also worked with the designer to identify areas for savings and reduced costs by 15 to 20% before the final payment.
As a zero net energy project, it provides a sustainable model to follow for future buildings.
This $16.2 million design-build project included a:
- New first-of-its-kind 14,000 square-foot library equipped with community rooms, reading rooms, and a technology center
- 16-acre park with a 100-seat amphitheater, children’s play area, dog park, sports courts, and fitness stations
- State-of-the-art sheriff’s office that includes a holding cell and working areas, along with a sophisticated monitoring system that allows security, HVAC, and landscaping to be controlled from the main facility over 80 miles away
The existing flood plain of the project site impacted the original slab on-grade design. After review by the SD County DPW Flood Control and FEMA, the Library had to be redesigned to an elevated concrete post-tension concrete deck on concrete columns. This redesign allowed the natural flow of rain water through the existing flood plan without any impact to the surround environment.
The sheriff’s office has a pre-engineered steel building structure and a partially prefabricated lateral framing system to protect against wind and seismic forces. The roof framing system is a conventional metal deck supported by purlins.
Beyond the Blueprints
Besides the challenges of the project redesign to resolve the natural flood plain, the heavy sand storm winds, heavy torrential rains with flash floods, winter seasonal cold fronts and the average summer temperature heat of 110 degrees, the Borrego Springs Library, Park and Sheriff Office received its Certificate of Occupancy on time to meet the scheduled grand opening date.
The project will serve as a model of innovation and sustainability for the County and beyond.