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TID making progress on site expansion
TID pic.jfif
While construction is still in the early stages at the former police station at 900 N. Palm St. and no new buildings have been erected yet, crews have made progress with the sites demolition, as well as utilities work for Turlock Irrigation Districts expansion project. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

After purchasing the former Turlock Police Department facility in 2015, construction on the property which will bring new, conveniently-located Water Distribution and Power Operation buildings to the Turlock Irrigation District’s Palm Street Operations Complex is well underway, according to an update given to the Board of Directors Tuesday.

Four years ago, TID entered into a lease agreement for property located at 900 N. Palm St. after TPD vacated the location to move into the current Public Safety Facility at 244 Broadway St. This gave TID a rare opportunity to purchase land adjacent to their property, said Project Manager Bill Penney, with the intent to consolidate the Water Distribution Operations and Power Operations staff to one spot, as opposed to having them spread out throughout the district’s irrigation service territory. New equipment for Power Operations will also be installed in order to increase reliability and improve customer service.

While the construction is still in the early stages and no new buildings have been erected yet, crews have made progress with the site’s demolition, as well as utilities work.

The new buildings will not only serve as an up-to-date, convenient spot for TID staff, but also as a reminder of former prominent TID employees.

The Power Operations Building will be named after R.W. Shoemaker, who served as an Electrical Engineer for the company in 1923 and was credited with helping TID become the first power company to use aluminum high-tension wires. The PCC and EMS Data Center from the Broadway power yard will be relocated to this new building, which will be complete with interior structural work to accommodate new use and video wall and operator consoles. The R. W. Shoemaker Building is expected to be completed between July 2018 and March 2019.

“There are two key components to how this building is going to operate,” said Penney. “One is to bring over the power control center…and it’s also going to have a room for the energy management system.”

This system allows for the analyzing in real time of the energy system performance, he added.

The Water Distribution Building pays homage to James A. Waymire, a judge from Oakland who came to TID’s rescue as they faced financial woes while completing the La Grange Dam. This building will be home to the district’s Water Distribution operators and will feature a large, open room with minor interior structure work. A fitness room for district-wide use will be constructed across from accompanying men’s and women’s locker rooms. The James A. Waymire Building will be completed between December 2017 and March 2018.

Though not a part of the Palm Street Operations Complex, the former War Memorial building, which was included in the purchase, is now named the C.C. Wright Hall, after the former La Grange schoolteacher who, during his time as State Assemblyman, authored a bill to authorize the creation of irrigation districts.

Additional improvements to the site include a Communications Building, expected to be completed this November, installation of an electric generator, accessibility improvements, re-striping of parking lots, landscaping swales for storm drainage and protection of existing trees and planting of new landscape, all to be finished by July 2018.

“All in all, I think the project has gone great so far,” said Penney. “We’re staying on schedule and within budget. I think everyone’s on board and will make this a very successful project.”