[IMAGE]COTA.jpg[/IMAGE]The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) and construction manager Smoot McDaniels, in conjunction with general trades contractor Miles-McClellan, hosted a job fair for construction workers to build COTA's new, state-of-the-art paratransit facility, which serves people with disabilities through its demand response mobility program.
During the job fair, Miles-McClellan took applications for general laborers, masons and mason tenders only. COTA's paratransit facility is a federal prevailing wage project.
"The new Paratransit Facility is located in an economically challenged community and centralizes all of COTA's mobility operations, providing more efficient and improved service to our paratransit customers," explained Elizabeth Berkemer, public and media manager for COTA. "As we make significant investments in the community, COTA believes it is important that opportunities that come with growth are available to area residents and businesses. We are improving the neighborhood with 'bricks and mortar,' stimulating new economic activity and empowering local residents with employment opportunities."
Berkemer added It is expected that 555 jobs will be created in the process of building the paratransit facility.
The 104,000-square-foot facility is located across from COTA's fixed-route facility that was constructed in the 1980s. The project is estimated to cost $23.8 million, with more than $13.6 million in federal funds of which $4.2 million is from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) funds.
The facility is planned to meet Silver Certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program as defined by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Features of the facility include storage and maintenance for 110 paratransit vehicles, six vehicle maintenance bays, administration offices, eligibility assessment center, bus wash and two fueling islands.
In an effort to become more environmentally friendly, this facility will feature several "green" initiatives. The facility was designed to take advantage of abundant natural lighting in the administrative offices and bus storage area, reducing our dependence on artificial lighting. Automatic sensors are strategically located throughout the facility to detect motion and trigger the lighting as needed.
A below-floor heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will allow employees to receive both heat and air conditioning from underneath the floor as opposed to the ceiling. This system greatly reduces the heat and air lost when traveling through typical air ducts.
Another environmentally friendly feature is a rainwater harvesting system. Due to the design of the roof, three 15,000-gallon, underground storage tanks will capture rainwater where it will be stored and used to for such activities as washing buses. Landscaping plants were chosen that do not require an irrigation system but thrives naturally in central Ohio's climate.
The white membrane roofing atop the facility and roller compacted concrete (RCC) in the employee and visitor parking areas were chosen to reduce the heat produced by typical, dark, light-absorbing, oil-based products. With the rise in oil prices, RCC has become an alternative that is less expensive and more durable.
The project is estimated to recycle 75 percent of construction-generated waste and use 20 percent of recycled materials for building the paratransit facility.
The facility is scheduled for completion in November 2010.