LHA breaks ground on the first community-driven recreational and educational public space of its kind promoting health and wellness in Santa Ana
The design-build team of McCarthy and TAYLOR, (www.TAA1.com ), are working in partnership with St. Joseph Health Systems, (www.stjhs.org), Latino Health Access (LHA), (www.LatinoHealthAccess.org ), and various other project team members to donate services for a new community center and park in one of the poorest areas of California. To be the only community center and park in the 92701 zip code, the project will be built on a half acre of land at 602 E. 4th Street and adjacent to one of the largest condominium complexes in Santa Ana. The landmark community park project will kick-off on November 5, 2010 during a formal groundbreaking ceremony.
“Jim Bostic, assistant vice president of construction for the St. Joseph Health System, has overseen the team of architects, engineers, and landscape designers who are donating their time to build the park and community center,” said Ana Carricchi, director of public policy for Latino Health Access. “Their donations have been worth several hundred thousand dollars to a project that, in all, will cost about $4 million to build and operate.”
“We are not only breaking ground on a community inspired park, but also on a new generation of health and wellness for low-income families in Santa Ana,” explained Carricchi. “Together with the local merchants, LHA is working to provide a safe play space for the children and families in the neighborhood that will create opportunities for community and cultural exchanges.”
Designed with the community and healthy activity in mind, the new LHA Community Center and Park will include both recreational and educational space for free or low-cost health and educational programming provided by LHA and collaborating partners. Various nutrition, exercise, parenting and other health related classes as well as English as a Second Language (ELS), computer literacy and job development will be among some of the offerings at the Center. The space will also be available for community activities recommended by the Resident Park Board made up of neighboring community residents and leaders.
Master planned by CDPC as recreation space for an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 surrounding residents, the park will feature open field play areas, a half-sized basketball court, two playgrounds with age-appropriate equipment, restrooms and security features. A 2,500 square foot community center will house a full-size industrial kitchen, a glass paned lobby area and office space, restrooms and a large multi-purpose room. The multi-purpose room includes audio and visual equipment as well as a portable stage for large community events. Mobile room dividers will be incorporated to provide flexible space for multiple classes.
The design of the building takes its cues from the community it will serve. Respectful in scale to the neighboring residences and shops, its form and materials speak to its civic function. A defined entry way welcomes the community to the simple, well-proportion structure with its distinctive red roof. Multicolored tiles help to define the entry lobby and the outdoor gathering space, the bright mix of colors serving as a visual metaphor for the diversity of the community.
In keeping with the social sustainability goals of the project, the low-impact building incorporates many environmentally sustainable features. Building materials are straightforward, locally sourced, and many of them are recycled or/recyclable—concrete block, structural steel with a standing seam metal roof. Deep roof eaves shelter the tall, clerestory windows from the sun, while the windows themselves are thermally efficient. Construction practices promote sustainability as well.
“Both TAYLOR and McCarthy Building Companies have designed and built many prominent healthcare projects in Orange County,” said Neal Rinella, principal at TAYLOR. “We are excited to be a part of this project, furthering our firms’ likeminded missions of fostering health and wellness in our community, and improving the lives of children.”
Part of the land where the LHA Community Center and Park is to be built was donated by Northgate Gonzalez Market. The remaining parcels are under a 40-year lease agreement, at $2 per year, with the City of Santa Ana. Project team members include: St. Joseph Health Systems, project oversight, TAYLOR, community center architect, McCarthy Building Companies, construction management; CDPC, project master planner and park design; TAIT, civil engineer, kpff, structural engineer; and SASCO, electrical.
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is one of the nation’s oldest and largest commercial builders and the largest in Orange County. Committed to the construction of high performance buildings, the company provides general contracting, construction management, program management and design-build services for healthcare, education, parking structure, airport/transportation, entertainment, retail, laboratory, biotechnical, microelectronic, and industrial facilities; office buildings; bridges and highways. In addition to Newport Beach, McCarthy has offices in San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Dallas; St. Louis and Atlanta. Named One of the Best Companies to Work for in Orange County, McCarthy is 100 percent employee owned. More information about the company is available online at www.mccarthy.com