Streamlined Asset Management in Spokane

 In discussion in one form or the other since the early 1980s, the newly completed center is an innovative, combined solid waste and fleet maintenance facility that is sure to inspire other municipalities across the country

By Genevieve Smith

During Earth Week 2014, the City of Spokane broke ground on its new project: a combined solid waste management and fleet maintenance facility. Now known as the Spokane Central Service Center, the two-story, 57,500-square-foot center opened in August 2016. The celebration that day was long heralded in the City, as various forms of the project (or at least the awareness of its necessity) and even the land to build on had been around for the better part of the past three decades.

The upside of all that time to think and consider the project is the innovation that it now delivers. Benefits of the new facility are several-fold. Chiefly, the Spokane Central Service Center allows for the consolidation of repair and maintenance of Spokane’s large vehicle fleet into one, central location, down from three, which in turn frees up the sites of the older facilities that had become exceedingly inefficient for redevelopment.

Taking the place of the three aged facilities, the new, adequate location means more safety and security for employees and improved operations.

Among the numerous improved operations at the new facility, it will enable the conversion of Spokane’s solid waste fleet to compressed natural gas from diesel fuel, a move that’s both environmentally and financially responsible.

From those operational efficiencies, Spokane anticipates that it will generate about $2 million in savings over 10 years to cover most of the cost of construction, and about $7 million from converting its solid waste fleet from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas, which they expect to do over a 10-year period. Once the entire solid waste fleet is replaced, fuel savings could total up to $1 million annually.

The City used a design-build approach for the facility with Garco Construction and Bernardo Wills Architects, PC, both of Spokane, the building’s contractor and designer, respectively. As the first design-build project undertaken by Spokane, the choice of approach was made to speed construction time and maintain better control over costs. A thorough, yet revised plan with a design-build approach at the center was deemed best able to achieve this result.