It’s ready. Two new buildings are set. All systems are go for a public dedication in celebration of the completion of a multi-year project for the Johnson County Department of Public Works and Infrastructure.
The celebration, featuring building tours, speeches, and a ceremonial ribbon cutting, is scheduled at 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 30 at the Public Works complex at 1800 West 56 Highway in west Olathe.
Speakers will include:
• Ed Eilert, Chairman of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners;
• Joe Waters, director of the Johnson County Facilities Department;
• Ramin Cherafat from  McCown Gordon Construction, LLC, construction manager for the project; and,
• Bill Johnson from 360 Architecture, Inc., designers of the project.
Mac Andrew, director of the Public Works Department, will serve as emcee for the event.
The project involved construction of a new 22,250-square-foot Fleet Maintenance building and a new 23,300-square-foot Administration/Operations building.   The total project authorization was $14,560,000. Both buildings were designed by 360 Architecture, Inc., and built under an $11,506,199 contract with McCownGordon Construction, LLC.
The county anticipates LEEDTM Gold certification for the project from the United States Green Building Council under the council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDTM) Green Building Rating System.  LEEDTM certification is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance sustainable buildings.
Johnson County currently has three LEEDTM Gold buildings and one LEEDTM Platinum building.
As part of the project, and May 30 celebration, the county will unveil its second public art project – a large scale kinetic art piece, entitled “Adaptation,” by Kansas City artist Matthew Dehaemers, a native of Johnson County. The sculpture, featuring moving parts, was built from stainless steel, hydraulics, bearings, and yellow paint.
His national public art commissions include:
• “Catalyst” for the Kansas City Area Transit Authority;
• “Seven Sentinels” at the Vehicle Impound Facility in Kansas City;
• “Convergence” commissioned by Los Angeles County; and,
• “Detour” for the Missouri Department of Transportation.
The county’s first public art project by New York City artist Suikang Zhao was incorporated in the construction of the Youth and Family Services Center in west Olathe for the Corrections Department. The facility and art were completed in 2011.
Art projects are funded from the county’s public art program established in 2007 by the Board of County Commissioners for certain new Johnson County Government major capital projects. The program uses 1 percent of the budget for public art projects.
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, with 75 employees, is responsible for improvements and maintenance of more than 460 miles of gravel and paved roadways and 118 bridges in the rural/unincorporated areas of Johnson County. It also oversees the annual County Assistance Road System (CARS) and Stormwater Management programs.
The 2012 CARS program is providing $15.7 million for 20 new road projects in nine cities. The 2012 Stormwater Management Program is set at $18.1 million including $14.1 million for 12 design/construction projects in six cities and approximately $3.2 million for flood mitigation and proactive efforts.
The history of the department began in 1931 when the county purchased land for the east quarry and land for a second quarry in 1952. The county acquired land for the present Public Works complex in 1965. Six years later, townships turned over road responsibilities to the county, leading to creation of the Public Works Department in 1984.
More information about the dedication and Public Works project is available by contacting Joe Waters, Director of the Facilities Department, at [email protected] by calling (913) 715-1105 or Mac Andrew, Director of the Public Works and Infrastructure Department, at [email protected] or by calling (913) 715-8305.