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City approves $14M for solar-powered sanitation building

Veronica Brezina



A rendering of the new sanitation building. All images: Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors/City of St. Petersburg documents.

The city has approved allocating $14 million to build a new sanitation building in St. Petersburg that will be outfitted with new tech and replace the existing buildings. 

The city commissioners approved a resolution Thursday accepting the guaranteed maximum price proposal of $14,014,194 for construction manager J. Kokolakis Contracting Inc.

The current buildings on the property are 50 years old and don’t consolidate the needed services, city architect Raul Quintana said. 

This first amendment to the construction management agreement allows for two sanitation buildings to be demolished and the construction of the new 18,600-square-foot, two-story sanitation building, which will replace the existing buildings at 20th Avenue N. and 28th Street. 

A rendering of the second-floor administrative offices in the new sanitation building. 

“The new building will consolidate administrative and operational functions in a single facility to serve the needs of the department. In addition to new staff offices and support spaces, the building includes open plan workstations, an emergency operations sub-center, a large muster room, employee showers and an employee fitness room,” city documents read. 

The building would be powered by solar energy. To maximize the solar component, in addition to having panels on the roof, there will be panels on the canopy over the parking area. 

The total solar capacity of these systems is 155 kilowatts, which is intended to offset the full electrical needs of the building.

“One of the unique things about this project for the city is really for the first time, we have the goal of achieving net zero energy,” Quintana said. 

A rendering showing the east perspective of the new sanitation building. 

Funding for the solar photo voltaic panels and supporting systems will be funneled through the Revolving Energy Investment Fund. 

The project would also be able to obtain LEED Gold Certification, which is a globally recognized designation for projects reaching a high level of sustainability. 

“It’s a beautiful building, an exciting project, well deserved, long overdue,” council chairwoman Gina Driscoll said. 

Councilmember Ed Montanari also voiced that he fully supports the project. 

Construction is scheduled to begin in November and be completed by December 2023. 

“During construction, the existing buildings will remain in operation. We will be taking over the parking lot, which requires remote parking during the period of construction,” Quintana said. The two buildings will be demolished once the department occupies the new building. 

The total project cost is roughly $17.6 million. Quintana said roughly $1 million has been spent to date for project design, which started in 2020, among other components.  

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