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Grand Past, Bright Future for Historic Building

McCormick could not put a projected dollar amount on the savings associated with the massive renovation project, but she says the building will be far more energy efficient.

"By doing a lot of the energy conservation stuff, we did our Title 24 calculations [a California Energy Commission Building Energy Efficiency program] and we're able to basically beat that by a certain percentage," she says. "We'll save a fairly significant part of the energy than if we hadn't done the project."

Life at the library and courts building starts to return to normal next month when the courts reopen. The state library might take a bit longer to reopen, given the time needed to return hundreds of thousands of books and items back to the stacks and shelves.

As the transition continues, Joan Armstrong, the building manager for the library and courts building, takes over responsibility for the building.

Armstrong joined the renovation project about a year ago, observing the installation of the various systems and determining they way they will affect the in-house staff. In her role as building manager, Armstrong oversees daily repairs and longterm projects. She manages a seven-person crew that is undergoing training on the systems so they will be up to speed when the building reopens next month.

"We'll provide all the day-to-day custodial service and all the preventive maintenance," she says. "We'll provide anything on engineering and any type of maintenance and repair. My staff lets me know what's going on, and tenants let me know what they want or if there are any issues. Then I coordinate with the staff or vendors to come in and take care of the issues."

When the regular occupants do return, McCormick says she hopes they see a building with the grand past that is prepared for an even brighter future.

The renovation "really emphasizes and highlights the historic fabrics and decoration," she says. "You can actually see a lot of the gold leaf and decoration that before was just hidden in the darkness. There's a panel of fine paintings that you could tell were figures and images up there, because they are fairly high off the floor, but now that it is actually lit, the colors have come to life. They are very vivid now."

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  posted on 3/7/2013   Article Use Policy

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