Photo courtesy of Johnson County.

Photo courtesy of Johnson County.

OLATHE, KS – Johnson County officials dedicated two new buildings on May 30, a 22,250-square-foot, eight-bay fleet maintenance building and a 23,300-square-foot administration/operations building. The total project authorization was $14,560,000, according to a release from the County.

Construction of both buildings began December 2010. The fleet maintenance building was completed in January and the administration/operations building in March.

The fleet building has eight maintenance bays and one wash bay. Fleet technicians service about 120 vehicles, the vast majority of which are Public Works heavy equipment. The County fleet staff of five technicians has already fully transitioned into the new building, Joe Waters, director of the Facilities Department, told GF.

Some of the “green” features in the buildings include the following: a geo-exchange system that utilizes the ground under and around the building to assist in heating and cooling the office and operations areas; natural lighting for the main office and training area, which passes through insulated windows; and landscaping features that keep rainwater on-site, where it’s used to water vegetation rather than end up in storm drains. Each building has a FEMA storm shelter to provide safety for the Public Works employees working at the complex.

"The, much of which is an old limestone rock quarry, is fronted on a state highway on the fringe of the city. The old Public Works and Fleet building had just three service bays and was located along the highway, but the new buildings have been placed to the rear of the property in the quarry," Waters said.

The old building has since been taken down, and Waters said the County has plans to build a second compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station there, expected to be completed by first quarter of 2013. The first CNG station, in the northern part of the County, is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. Both are partially funded with grants.

The county anticipates LEED Gold certification for the two new buildings from the United States Green Building Council under the council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. LEED certification is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance sustainable buildings.

Johnson County currently has three LEED Gold buildings and one LEED Platinum building.