Corp plans new Mill Creek office

The $2.2 million project will replace the current office adjacent to Mill Creek.

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Lt. Col. David Caldwell, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District commander, and Rick Beauchesne, Mill Creek operations project manager, take Walla Walla Mayor Jim Barrow on a tour Thursday, Feb. 9, of the Corps' Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake operating project.

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(from left) Lt. Col. David Caldwell, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District commander; Rick Beauchesne, Mill Creek operations project manager; and Walla Walla Mayor Jim Barrow break ground Thursday, Feb. 9, for construction of a new operations office at the Corps' Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake project.

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During an orientation tour on Thursday, Feb. 9, Lt. Col. DavidCaldwell, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District commander, and Simeon Francis, a Corps of Engineers project manager, show Walla Walla Mayor Jim Barrow plans and drawings for the soon-to-be-built Mill Creek operations office.

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With a view from atop the Bennington Lake storage dam Thursday, Feb. 9, Lt. Col. David Caldwell, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District commander, and Rick Beauchesne, Mill Creek operations project manager, discuss with Walla Walla Mayor Jim Barrow how flood waters can be diverted from Mill Creek, held in the lake and later released back to Mill Creek via a return canal.

WALLA WALLA -- The organization that keeps downtown Walla Walla dry is slated to get a new home.

Construction is set to begin soon on a new office building for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Mill Creek Flood Control Project office. The $2.2 million project will involve nine local companies as well as businesses from the Tri-Cities area.

The new building will be sited next to the existing Corps office, built in the 1930s, which is located alongside Mill Creek off Reservoir Road just east of Walla Walla's city limits.

According to a release from the Corps' Walla Walla District Office, the new office will include a visitor display area with a public restroom, receptionist area, offices for the operations manager, park rangers and maintenance staff as well as storage and work areas. Site work will include an access road, expanded parking, a new pedestrian bridge, a new septic drain field and realignment of electrical lines.

Corps Project Manager Simeon Francis said the new building is designed using Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design principles, a voluntary program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The program encourages the design and construction of facilities that reduce energy consumption and waste both during the construction and future use of the building.

The program's certifications range from basic certification to the Silver, Gold and Platinum rankings. The Corps' office is intended to earn a silver certification, Francis said. Energy-saving features in the building are designed to achieve a 30 percent reduction in energy consumption and significantly reduce operating costs.

"This is our district's first building project using LEED-silver criteria," he said. "Our district design team really came through with some great 'green' ideas for improving the sustainability aspects of this facility."

The prime contractor for the project is Randolph Construction Services Inc. of Pasco. Construction is set to begin during the week of Feb. 20 and the new building is scheduled for completion in October.

The old office will be dismantled when funding becomes available, according to the Corps release.

Who's who of mill creek project

Local and regional firms taking part in construction of the Corps' new Mill Creek Flood Control office:

Koncrete Industries, Walla Walla -- concrete batch plan, supplying the concrete and stone veneer product

Systematic Wood Designs, Walla Walla -- supplying and installing casework, countertops and shelving

Eagle Fence, Walla Walla -- installing fencing

Walla Walla Electric, Walla Walla -- installing electrical, generator system, communications and solar panels

Yale Glass, Walla Walla -- installing glass doors and glazing

Modern Masonry, Walla Walla -- installing stone veneer

Rodan amp; Son Concrete, Dixie -- concrete installer for all of the site concrete (foundation and hardscape)

Key Excavating, Milton-Freewater -- excavation and utility installation

Columbia Basin Rebar, Burbank -- supplying reinforcing bar

Monarch Machinery, Pasco -- supplying structural steel components and metal gate

Apollo Sheet Metal, Kennewick -- installing plumbing, HVAC and ground source loop systems

Intermountain West Insulation, Kennewick -- installing insulation throughout building

Jamp;B Construction and Landscaping, Kennewick -- landscaping, temporary irrigation and pavers

R.P. Construction, Kennewick -- framing contractor

Stratton Surveying, Kennewick -- project surveyor

RedBuilt, Richland -- supplying I-joists and Glulams

AB Asphalt, Benton City -- new asphalt and parking area

Paintmaster Service, Benton City -- painting and coating

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