Waterbury, Vt. – Gov. Peter Shumlin was joined today by state and local officials, representatives from construction manager PC Construction of South Burlington, architect Freeman French Freeman of Burlington, FEMA officials and others at a groundbreaking ceremony in downtown Waterbury to mark the State of Vermont’s largest capital project ever – the historic rebuilding of the Waterbury State Office Complex.
Working closely with the State of Vermont’s Department of Buildings and General Services construction team, PC Construction began placing concrete for structures that include a new 86,000-square-foot office building, 20,000-square-foot central plant and maintenance facility, and new site infrastructure.
The new central plant will include two wood-fired biomass boilers (with oil or gas back-up boilers) for hot water heating, electric chilled water production for cooling, two electrical generators for emergency and standby power, and maintenance offices and workshops needed for the care of the facility.
The Waterbury State Office Complex project also includes the historic renovation of the original 13 core buildings comprising 115,000 square feet. The project is being funded with a combination of State of Vermont funds, insurance proceeds and FEMA funds.
Heavily damaged by Tropical Storm Irene when the Winooski River overflowed its banks, the Waterbury location has been an active job site since August 2013. PC Construction has been working to surgically deconstruct 355,000 square feet of unusable buildings, recycling 94 percent of all materials.
Gov. Shumlin, who has led the effort to rebuild the state following the devastation from Tropical Storm Irene, was on hand to personally participate in the first concrete placement.
“We took advantage of an historic storm to rebuild our state better than the way Irene found us,” said Gov. Shumlin. “There is no greater example of what it means to be a Vermonter than what is happening here today in Waterbury, creating a public-private partnership to build a green, clean, energy-efficient and modern workspace to support our incredibly hard-working state employees and the services they provide.”
Conceived by Freeman French Freeman to marry resilient modern office design with historic preservation values, the structures are designed to meet LEED Gold standards. Given its location on the banks of the Winooski River and the damage wrought by Irene, reducing flood risk is a primary emphasis of the project. Nineteen flood-prone buildings are being removed, new and renovated facilities will be elevated, and all occupied areas of new and renovated construction will be above the 500-year-flood level.
“PC Construction is proud to be a part of the state’s largest-ever construction project, rebuilding and revitalizing historic downtown Waterbury and bringing state employees back together in this wonderful town that symbolizes how Vermonters rebuild better and stronger,” said Jay Fayette, senior vice president of PC Construction.
Historic restoration architect Goody Clancy as well as engineers Rist-Frost-Shumway and Engineering Ventures are all part of the team working together with the State of Vermont to build the complex of new and renovated buildings that, upon completion in December 2015, will house 1,200 employees of Vermont’s Agency of Human Services and Department of Public Safety.