Fri07252014

News

Water district breaks ground for operations center in LAH

The Purissima Hills Water District broke ground on a new operations center last Wednesday at its site adjacent to the Los Altos Hills Town Hall. The 2,000-square-foot center will replace an 850-square-foot building on the same site that has housed the water district since 1962.

The structure will have more office space, an engineering room, a separate room for machinery and a conference room. Meetings of the district board historically have been held in the small office space of the old building.

"We're really looking forward to having board meetings with enough room to really function," General Manager Patrick Walter said.

Heavy spring rains delayed the project, which has a projected completion date of Dec. 6, but it should still be finished on time, Walter said. Contractor John Plane Construction made the low bid for the project, $949,000, after the Los Altos Hills City Council approved the project in July 2005. Walter said that funding would come from the district's annual capital improvement budget of approximately $750,000 and that the district may also borrow money.

Los Altos-based architect John Miller designed the building to match the aesthetics of the town hall next door, with similar materials, detailing and a muted earth-tone color scheme. He said that the fireproof, rot-resistant, cement-fiber siding planned for the structure is also termite resistant. Termite infestations have plagued the 1962 building.

"The site was very restricted, with only a 30-foot-wide allowable building site," Miller said. "(But) everything about it is larger than what they had."

The structure complies with Savings by Design, an energy conservation program sponsored by PG&E that offers rebates for projects exceeding the state's minimum energy-efficiency standards by at least 10 percent. Plans for the new district building exceed the minimum standards by 11 percent.

The non-profit water district supplies water to two-thirds of Los Altos Hills. The district receives income from water revenue, the tax base and rent from four cell-phone towers located on district property.

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