Pikes Peak Visitor Center Will Open in Early Summer

The 38,000-sq-ft Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center is expected to open in late May or early June, according to the project team. Embedded into the mountainside, the low-rise structure is made of stone inspired by Pikes Peak granite to help minimize the visual impact of the building.

The building itself is a model for ecological stewardship. Durable materials such as high-performance glass allow it to withstand the harsh conditions above 14,000 ft, including winds that can reach up to 230 miles per hour. The facility also is designed to achieve net-zero water and saves more than 350,000 gallons of water per year over the current system. In addition to accessible indoor exhibits, dining, a gift shop and restrooms, the visitor center houses a series of roof decks and outdoor terraces.

The project was designed by GWWO Architects in association with RTA Architects as architect-of-record. GE Johnson Construction has served as construction manager.

Utah’s Budget Surplus Gives State-Owned Projects a $1B Boost

State-funded construction projects are among the top beneficiaries of a $1.5-billion budget surplus carved up by Utah lawmakers during the 2021 legislative session that ended March 6. The Utah Dept. of Transportation gained $1.1 billion in one-time funds and new bonding capacity, including $869.6 million in one-time funding for a variety of projects. It allows UDOT to authorize $264 million in new bonding for improvements to the Front Runner commuter rail line. Approximately $30 million will be directed to other improvements in commuter rail systems as well as implementation of a bus rapid transit system for the mid-Salt Lake Valley.

The Utah Dept. of Facilities Construction and Management received $658.8 million in one-time funding for new buildings and renovations. Nearly $500 million is designated for capital development projects—remodels, site or utility projects with a cost of $3.5 million or more or a new facility over $500,000—while $158 million will go to capital improvements.

Lawmakers also approved $35.6 million in one-time money to establish two new state parks and $82 million for repairs and improvements at existing state parks.

—By Brian Fryer

Colorado Ranks in Top 10  LEED States in 2020

The U.S. Green Building Council’s annual list of the top 10 states for LEED green building ranked Colorado No. 4 in 2020, with 64 certifications and more than 1.8 million gross sq ft of LEED-certified buildings, at 2.35 gross sq ft per capita. The ranking is based on gross sq ft of certified space per person using 2010 U.S. Census data and includes commercial and institutional projects certified in 2020.

This year, USGBC also released its first-ever ranking of the top 10 states with the most LEED green building professionals. Colorado ranked eighth, with 6,393 LEED-credentialed professionals working in the state. The list represents more than 100,000 workers, with thousands more outside the top 10 and around the world.

“If we are to rebuild an economy that supports our health and our planet, we must lead with changing the way we design and build. Now is the time to ensure that every building is LEED certified,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of USGBC.

UTA Completes Phase 1 Of Its New Bus Facility

The Utah Transit Authority recently celebrated completion of the first phase of construction on its new bus operations, maintenance and administration facility, known as the Depot District Clean Fuels Technology Center. The facility houses UTA’s fleet of compressed natural gas and electric vehicles, with room to store and maintain 135 buses in the first phase and a capacity for 256 buses in an expanded second phase. The facility allows buses to drive straight through without having to back up to exit. Stantec is providing project management, planning, architecture, interior design, lighting design and sustainability design on the $95-million project, which was built by Big-D Construction.

Care & Share Sunny Side Market Opens in Pueblo

On Feb. 16, H.W. Houston Construction and Care & Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado celebrated the opening of the Sunny Side Market in Pueblo, Colo. The new market will provide East Side residents of Pueblo with access to free quality meals. The market will be stocked with fresh produce, dairy products, canned goods, frozen meals and more.

Construction on the 2,400-sq-ft project began in October 2020 and consisted of a complete gut and renovation of the old pharmacy building. Renovations included new HVAC, electrical, plumbing, roofing and finishes. To meet Pueblo city standards, minor upgrade improvements were also performed on the exterior of the building. H.W. Houston donated its fee for the construction costs.

Jacobsen Completes Its New Headquarters

Jacobsen Construction Co. is moving into a new headquarters just three miles from Salt Lake City International Airport. The three-story, 63,000-sq-ft building includes workplace amenities such as a gym and yoga and meditation spaces; “living rooms” designed for informal collaborations; accommodations for electric vehicles; offices with floor-to-ceiling windows; large conference rooms; a training room with sophisticated tech; and a café.

The building was designed by VCBO Architecture.