Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for the Equipment and Maintenance Operations Center (EMOC). This is the first of his Smart Growth Initiative (SGI) construction projects that will eventually revitalize an old industrial area by creating an urban village near the Shady Grove Metro station. Leggett’s SGI is a cost-neutral strategy that will provide substantial economic opportunities for future growth while implementing the goals of the Shady Grove Sector Plan. The SGI will:
• Create a transit-oriented bioscience enclave at the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center that will increase the County’s competitiveness;
• Construct thousands of new housing units;
• Create new, high-paying jobs;
• Relocate and replace old, overcrowded and inadequate public facilities;
• Save $22 million a year on rent payments; and
• Create opportunities to protect the agricultural reserve.
“One of the priorities of my administration has been developing the Smart Growth Initiative, and I am very proud to be breaking ground for the first of many projects that will help make this plan a reality,” said Leggett. “By relocating old and overcrowded County government facilities to make way for a sustainable, transit-oriented community near Metro, we are boosting the economic health and competitiveness of Montgomery County. The Smart Growth Initiative will create a better quality of life for our residents well into the future.”
The Shady Grove Sector Plan, approved by the County Council in 2005, calls for transitioning the area around the Shady Grove Metro from light industrial uses to transit-oriented housing by building up to 6,500 new units, including affordable and workforce housing. To accomplish this goal, the County Service Park facilities, which are located in the heart of the planning area along Crabbs Branch Way, must be relocated. The facilities that will be moved include EMOC; the Department of Liquor Control Headquarters and Warehouse; Montgomery County Public Schools Food Distribution Center, Bus Depot and Facilities Maintenance Depot; Crabbs Branch Day Labor Center; County Radio Shop; and Park and Planning Facilities Maintenance Depot.
“When we approved the Shady Grove Sector Plan in 2005, we envisioned a modern, vibrant, transit-oriented community centered on the Shady Grove Metro station,” said Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen. “With today’s groundbreaking, we’re taking the first step toward making that vision a reality. We’re paving the way to an exciting future—a future that’s full of opportunities for economic development, housing and quality of life.”
The EMOC project is actually a collection of 13 buildings that will serve the Department of Transportation’s divisions of Transit Services and Highway Services, the Department of General Services and provide a Day Labor Center. The facilities include administrative buildings; bus parking for 200 buses; bus service lanes; bus wash facility; fare collection area; bus service maintenance bays; parts room; heavy equipment storage shed; soil/gravel storage area; Highway Services bays; compressed natural gas fast-fill, gasoline and diesel fueling stations; and employee and visitor parking.
The environmentally-sensitive design of EMOC increases the size of existing facilities, but does so within a smaller footprint by using multi-story buildings. Many acres of green space provide for stream buffer protection and forest conservation. The overall project is designed to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification by incorporating innovative features. A pilot project, which is the first in the State of Maryland, will reclaim, treat and reuse rainwater for toilet flushing and bus washing, reducing water use by 80 percent. Seventy-five percent of the building roofs, more than four acres, will have green roofs to decrease stormwater runoff.
Other green design elements include: 100 percent of average annual rainfall treated by storm filters; energy efficiency features expected to reduce energy costs by 30 percent compared to typical buildings; solar lighting on the parking roof; reuse or recycling of 75 percent of construction and land debris; exterior lighting that fully complies with LEED light pollution reduction requirements; low flow plumbing fixtures expected to save 30 to 40 percent of water use; equipment and refrigerants that minimize or eliminate the emission of compounds that contribute to ozone depletion and global warming; use of low emission and regional materials in construction; purchase of Renewable Energy Credits for a cleaner and more sustainable environment; active and passive noise reduction measures; and low maintenance landscaping that will not require irrigation in the future.
The SGI also includes eventually moving the Public Safety Training Academy (PSTA), which has severe space limitations and is in need of tens of millions of dollars in improvements. In addition, headquarters for the departments of Police and Fire and Rescue and the Office of Homeland Security will be moved to the County’s Edison Park building, which is also home to the divisions of Highway Services and Traffic Engineering in the Department of Transportation. Co-locating public safety personnel will boost coordination and operational efficiencies and free up the current PSTA site to enhance the County’s biotech presence.
The construction contractor for EMOC is Coakley & Williams Construction, Inc. The design team included Baker and Associates, architect, interior design and landscaping; ADTEK Engineers, Inc., structural and civil engineer; S3E Klingemann, Inc., mechanical, plumbing and fire protection engineer; EPCM Consulting Engineers, electrical engineer; and Maintenance Design Group, equipment and fleet consultants. The cost for constructing the project is $36.7 million.
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