Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
SAN DIEGO NWRC: Construction Begins on $4.5 Million Recovery Act Project for San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex
California-Nevada Offices , June 15, 2010
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Administrative Headquarters, Visitor Contact Station and Service Facility to be Built on San Diego Bay NWR


by Scott Flaherty, External Affairs
Construction of a new administrative headquarters, visitor contact station and service facility for the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex began with a groundbreaking ceremony June 15 at the Sweetwater Marsh Unit of San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Chula Vista, Calif.  

PCL Construction Services, Inc., of San Diegowill build the $4.5 million facility which is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.  Construction is expected to be completed by June 2011. 

The construction project includes two buildings and is one of the Service’s larger ARRA-funded refuge projects in California. The buildings will be approximately 9,800 square feet and consolidate refuge administration, resource management and maintenance operations, functions that are currently spread out among the complex’s four refuges in San Diego County.   The buildings will be located on refuge property adjacent to the Chula Vista Nature Center.

“This new facility will improve management efficiencies by locating our staff together and enhance opportunities to develop partnerships with our neighboring communities in San Diego County,” said Andy Yuen, project leader of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex. “The location will bring visitors from the Chula Vista Nature Center onto the Refuge to explore the trails, observe wildlife, and foster connections with nature.”

The new facility will also allow the Service to vacate existing leased space, located one hour from the nearest refuge unit.  Eliminating costs for leased space will save the Service over $710,000 during the typical 13-year lease period ($55,000 per year.)

The administrative headquarters, VCS, and service building were designed by Line and Space LLC, of Tucson, Arizona, and will be built to meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification standards. 

“The San Diego National Wildlife Refuge project is one of the major investments by the Department of the Interior in California that will provide long-term benefits to people and conserve our natural treasures,” said Secretary Salazar. “This project will create local jobs and a construct a facility that will serve as a community resource for generations to come.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided $3 billion to the Department of the Interior.  Of that amount, $280 million went to the Service to fund job-creating investments in critical infrastructure and facilities, habitat restoration, and energy efficiency and renewable energy. 

“With its investments of Recovery Act funds, the Department of the Interior and its bureaus are putting people to work today to make improvements that will benefit the environment and the region for many years to come,” said Secretary Salazar.

For a full list of funded projects nationwide, go to the Department’s Recovery Web Site at http://recovery.doi.gov/. For a list of Service projects, click on the Service’s logo at the bottom of the page. Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department of the Interior’s economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on the recovery web site, which will include an interactive map that enables the public to track where and how the Department’s recovery dollars are being spent. In addition, the public can submit questions, comments or concerns at recoveryact@fws.gov.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. 

For more information about the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge is available at http://www.fws.gov/sandiegorefuges

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov
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