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CLWA Hub in Midst of Facelift

The Castaic Lake Water Agency’s Saugus headquarters has been undergoing construction to expand for about a year, with some of the agency’s employees working in trailers while waiting for their new offices to be built. Construction began in September 2004, said Ken Petersen, the agency’s engineering and operations manager. However, he said, things didn’t get into full swing until last summer. “We — by convenience — terminated the contractor and now we restarted construction as of August 2005,” Petersen said. At issue was the pace of the construction of the addition to CLWA’s administration building above Central Park in Saugus. Now the agency is taking the lead role in the expansion of the two-story building, which is expected to be complete by August 2006. CLWA’s administration building was built in the 1990s, Petersen said, and is about 32,000 square feet in size. The headquarters is set to become larger by 8,300 square feet. A couple classroom-type rooms for CLWA’s educational program, as well as more lab and office space for lab personnel, is being added to the new plan. Fourteen staff members of CLWA — including Petersen — are working in trailers due to what he said was the increased staff size of the valley’s water wholesaler. “Now, as more responsibilities occur for all of us, we need more people,” Petersen said. About 10 offices are set to be built, along with open spaces that will use cubicles to provide space for up to 10 personnel. About $1 million has been spent so far, Petersen said, for the addition that has a total cost of approximately $3.2 million. CLWA is taking the role as the contractor, and has hired a construction manager and a site superintendent to oversee the construction. A bid process is being done for all the elements of the construction, with 13 subcontractors being used. “Each individual trade on the building has been billed out to contractors,” Petersen said. “We’re acting as the owner and as the manager of the project.” “What we’re doing is very similar to what school districts do when they build schools,” Petersen said. So far, CLWA officials are pleased with the pace of the construction of the building addition. “We are very happy now,” Petersen said. “It was slow at the beginning and now it’s progressing.” That might be true for CLWA’s employees who find themselves working in a somewhat unorthodox work environment.
“It is our hope to get rid of the trailers,” Petersen said.
This story can be found in today’s Signal Newspaper!

CLWA Hub in Midst of Facelift

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