Under Glass: 2-story atrium is highlight of county building design

A two-story glass atrium lobby topped with a crown design will be the focal point of a new county building that promises to be functional and pleasing to the eye.

The OPUS West Development Team presented a perspective architectural rendering of the administration building to the Mohave County Board of Supervisors on Monday.The Phoenix-based OPUS West Corp. beat out several other design/build teams vying for the $20 million project, which will take about 18 months to design and build.During the past several months, a local committee consisting of county officials, financial and legal advisors and a local contractor narrowed the field down from nine to three firms.

After one firm withdrew its bid, OPUS West was chosen.

The OPUS West Development Team will issue tax-exempt, 15-year bonds to pay for the project. The bonds will be repaid through the county’s monthly lease payment, which will come from the county’s quarter-cent sales tax fund.

After 15 years the county will own the building.

The 130,000-square-foot building will be built south of the new Mohave County Sheriff’s OFFICE on West Beale Street with access from Beale Street and Route 66.

The building will include a supervisors’ meeting room with seats for 275 people and offices for Mohave County Health and Human Services.

“We are confident this project as developed can be delivered on budget, on schedule and is something Mohave County can be proud of for a long time,” Mohave County Manager Ron Walker said.

Walker reiterated that after an extensive interviewing process the most qualified team was chosent.

OPUS Vice President Keith Earnest said the company has been in business for 50 years, including 25 years in Arizona, and has designed and built 15 million square feet of industrial and retail offices, including buildings for the Arizona Department of Administration and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

“We have been listening to what the county wants,” he said.

A design/build team is the best method for the project because the team designs, builds, manages and does all the financing in house. The team also takes on the risks of the project, Earnest said.

“The architecture is interesting. It provides a little bit of variety,” Bob Carli Jr., the company’s director of architecture, said of the building.

Carli said the facility will be built with locally available materials, construction waste will be recycled, water will be reclaimed from cooling towers for landscaping, and low-flow plumbing fixtures will be used.

When the building is completed, he added, the project will be evaluated on how well environmental measures were implemented.

OPUS senior director of construction Alan Torvie said use of recycled materials and certified wood and other environmental measures will earn credits that go toward “green building” certification, which puts the project in line for financial reimbursements.

The building terraces up from the first story, which will house health and human services, to a two-story glass, barrel-shaped atrium lobby, reception area and guard desk, to a three-story component housing county offices.

There will be two entrances: one for health and human services and one for county administration offices. The building will have 520 parking spaces.

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