True Progress Takes Partnership, Collaboration and Teamwork

From Coastal Grower Magazine

The newly renovated Schilling Place-Monterey County Government Center is now home to more than 300 county employees. Schilling Place Center is housed in the former Capital One building in the heart of the Salinas Valley. The new facility is the result of an almost three-year project that allows the county to reduce expenses over time by reducing leasing costs and consolidating county functions. The Leed Certified “Gold” facility a lso helps the county meet the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32) mandated goals, and creates a variety of much-needed efficiencies.

The Schilling Place complex was purchased in 2014, after a challenging search for a facility that would meet the requirements of the county’s expansion plan. The former Capital One center was the ideal site to provide the permanent office space the county so desperately needed. The center definitely had potential, but the project was an ambitious one. Converting the 300,000 square-foot facility from a drab and dated facility into a vibrant workspace took vision and creativity.

The renovations feature an employee fitness center, a new healthy food choice cafeteria for employees and visitors to the facility, and an abundance of parking for the public and county employees. When asked about the project, architect Peter Silva, of Wald Ruhnke & Dost Architects said, “Our design objective was to transform a cheerless 1980’s style corporate campus into a dynamic office space that would better serve today’s users. Using a striking color pallet and bold geometric patterns, we’ve created an environment by which the general public and county employees alike will feel refreshed and enlivened.”

Assistant Administrative Officer, Dewayne Woods managed the Schilling Place project. In his view, one vital element was necessary. “Any successful project completed on time and on budget requires talented people,” says Woods. “We were fortunate to have such talented people working on this project.”

When Ausonio Incorporated began work on the renovation last August, the complex had been vacant for a number of years. Now, less than one year later, they are pleased to have another successful project with Monterey County completed. Ausonio’s Project Manager, Justin Pryer, says cooperation was key. “You need great cooperation to bring a renovation of this size to completion. We have that with the county.”

Because of the size of Monterey County, various offices throughout the area will be maintained in order to serve constituents across the region. Many employees and departments will remain in the County Government Center and other county facilities, but the new Schilling Place Center houses multiple offices; each benefitting from an array of unique improvements the new complex provides.

Among those improvements, The Auditor-Controller’s Office Enterprise Resource Planning Program now has a well-designed, long-term working environment to support collaboration amongst County departments within all phases of the program.

The Resource Management Agency and Water Resource Agency are now co-located at the facility, to provide a one stop Permit Center. The Economic Development and Workforce Development Board is more accessible to the public and enhances service delivery, and The Elections Department now has increased transparency, confidentiality, security, and improved public access.

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