DNR northern headquarters goes greenNorthern Wisconsin citizens soon will have a new, cost-effective Department of Natural Resources headquarters featuring international green energy standards such as an under-the-floor air system, native construction materials of wood and quarry stone and three conference areas available for public use.
Northern Wisconsin citizens soon will have a new, cost-effective Department of Natural Resources headquarters featuring international green energy standards such as an under-the-floor air system, native construction materials of wood and quarry stone and three conference areas available for public use.
Following recent approval by the State of Wisconsin Building Commission, DNR Secretary Matt Frank officially announced plans to construct a Northern Region Headquarters he labeled good for the economy, citizens and resources.
“This new building is a green jobs investment in northern Wisconsin,” Frank told a news conference held in the current DNR headquarters. “The construction project reflects the DNR’s commitment to long-term service to our citizens and natural resources.”
Frank also commended and thanked the Governor, Legislature and State Building Commission for their support for this building proposal.
”It starts with the support of our leaders in state government. This would not have happened without their involvement. We appreciate all the work they have done in helping make this building project a reality. Thank you,” he said. The building project was approved by the legislature and Governor in the 2007-2009 state budget.
Construction is expected to start this summer in the lot directly behind the old building on Maple Street and Highway 70. The building should be ready for occupants by late summer of 2011.
The structure will replace the agency’s current building which is neither energy efficient nor energy code compliant, and is too small for DNR northern operations. Consultants recommended a new facility as being the most cost effective alternative in achieving our goals now and in the future, Frank said.
DNR’s Northern Region Director John Gozdzialski said the building will meet or exceed the requirements for Gold Level certification of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating system. LEED is an international standard created to define green buildings by establishing a common measurement and promote integrated whole building design.
Some of these energy innovations include a high efficiency heating and cooling system using natural gas in an under-the-floor distribution system. The building will be built about 18 inches on risers from the concrete slab allowing room for the heating and cooling system, electronics and telecommunications.
Most of the offices for the 73 staff will be open air-cubicles with some closed rooms for administrative staff. “There is not enough space for all Spooner staff in the old building and some personnel are using rented offices in other parts of the city,” Gozdzialski said.
Three conference rooms – the largest will seat up to 70 – and will be open to the public during and after hours.
The new building of 18,100 square feet will also have a lobby and customer service area. Building materials will be mainly wood and quarry stone with a metal roof. An added attraction will be the rain garden or water runoff retention basins around the facility.
There has been a Department of Natural Resources presence in Spooner since 1913 when the fish hatchery was built. Through the years the department has added programs and staff to meet the needs of area citizens and visitors.
Gozdzialski noted that staff will remain in the old building during construction and it will be “deconstructed” once the new facility is completed. Deconstructing, he explained, means tearing down with the intent to re-use and recycle at least 70 percent of the wood, metals, and concrete. The old site will then be turned into to a parking lot and green space.
The expected cost of $4,494,600 will come from General Fund, Segregated Conservation Fund, and Segregated Environmental Fund.