Cabarrus officials look to build green


By Eric Deines
[email protected]
As volunteers with Habitat for Humanity clear Concord’s old fairgrounds site of its reusable materials, the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners will soon choose the architect to helm the $4.5 million satellite facility planned for the location.

The first building planned for what will become a 10-acre, multi-structure satellite campus for Cabarrus County departments will house the Cabarrus Board of Elections, Emergency Medical Services, Parks, and Transportation Services.

The county intends the project to be environmentally sound, though it’s yet to be determined as to how “green” the project will be.

“Our intention is to build a green campus,” said Deputy County Manager Mike Downs. “Our hopes are to be LEAD certified, but we don’t know to what degree. There’s a huge checklist of options, and as you design it, you choose.”

The county received proposals from four architects, whom commissioners will interview on Oct. 1:

• Charlotte-based ADW Architects;
• Charlotte-based LS3P Associates;
• Charlotte-based NarmourWrightCreech Architecture; and
• Concord-based Yates, Chrietzberg, Hughes Architects.

Once an architect is selected by commissioners, there will be a three-to-four month design period followed by a year of construction.

Downs said this schedule would lead to an occupation of the building in the first quarter of 2010.

This year, ADW Architects prepared a concept plan for the project, upon which the architects’ proposals were based.

Downs said it was unknown at this time how large the satellite campus may grow, with only a second building on the horizon at the moment.

That facility, when built, would house departments like the Department of Commerce, the Cabarrus Soil & Water Conservation District, and arms of the Cooperative Extension office, Downs said.

Meanwhile, Habitat for Humanity Cabarrus County is leading efforts to dismantle the livestock barn and show ring at the old fairgrounds to make way for the county project. 

Each Saturday since Sept. 6, volunteers have been at work on the dismantling project, collecting aluminum and oak from the structures. 

Downs said the county donated the materials at the site to Habitat for Humanity.

Joseph Squires, director of the ReStore operations with Habitat for Humanity, said volunteers should complete the deconstruction work on Saturday.

So far, Squires estimated the group has recycled about 5,000 pounds of aluminum, and that after Saturday, volunteers will have collected over 500 boards of oak.

And already there is interest about purchasing the salvaged wood.

“Some of the volunteers that were out there are asking what they’re going to sell for,” Squires said.

The price of the oak has not yet been determined, as it won’t be on sale until next week, Squires said.

“I’ve been told the oak would be worth a lot,” Squires said. “But the ReStore tries to keep our prices low.”

Officials with Habitat for Humanity said volunteers are still needed for Saturday’s efforts. If interested, residents may contact Barbi Jones, marketing director with Habitat for Humanity, at 704-786-4001.

The old fairgrounds site was selected for the satellite campus because of its centralized location, and its accessibility from Cabarrus Avenue, U.S. 601 and Union Cemetery Road.

• Contact reporter Eric C. Deines: 704-789-9141.

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