Major project planned at ArrowwoodA $5.2 million construction project is planned for the Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge starting in June, according to Michael Mascari, public information officer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
A $5.2 million construction project is planned for the Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge starting in June, according to Michael Mascari, public information officer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The building will house the refuge’s offices and a visitor contact area and, most importantly, be constructed above the flood plain.
“We’re very excited,” said Kim Hanson, refuge manager at Arrowwood. “It is a huge opportunity for us, the silver lining to the cloud of last year’s flood.”
During the high water event of 2009 the buildings at Arrowwood were flooded. Hansen said even after the water receded the staff spent much of the summer working in buildings without indoor plumbing because of an inundated drain field. The new building will be situated on a bluff about 60 to 80 feet higher than the existing location allowing the staff to continue to use the existing offices until the new building is finished in June 2011.
Along with a better location the new building will offer the latest in energy saving.
“The new building will be certified through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design process,” Mascari said. “The building will be constructed with the latest energy conservation technology including ground source heat pumps and vertical axis wind turbines.”
Michael Brown, project manager for Rollette, N.D.-based general contractor Keplin-Gracon JV, said the vertical axis wind turbines resembled “big spinning barrels and are smaller than the commercial wind turbines seen elsewhere in the region.”
Brown estimated the total energy savings for the structure at about 25 to 35 percent over modern conventional buildings and even greater when compared to the older structures at Arrowwood it will replace.
“We anticipate we’ll showcase the energy conservation features,” Hansen said. “Let people see how things can be built with conservation in mind.”
The project is being funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, often known as stimulus funds.
“It’s never a good thing to take money away from Fish and Wildlife projects for structures,” Mascari said. “This allows us to construct a new facility where it is needed and also create construction jobs.”
“It is a significant project for the area,” he said. “It will have a positive impact on the job market.”
Brown also said most subcontractors will be local companies.
Groundbreaking and the start of construction are planned for the first week in June. Construction should be completed by June 2011.
The structure will provide more office space and an enlarged visitor contact area when completed.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org