The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

August 24, 2009
Cooling (and heating) 20,000 state workers - with a lot less

central plant photo.JPG

Construction workers and senior state officials gathered downtown this morning to celebrate a rare achievement: a $181-million state office building that was erected on time and on budget.

Department of General Services Director Will Bush joined State and Consumer Services Agency secretary Fred Aguiar and the workers for the official opening of the state's sprawling new central plant in downtown Sacramento, saying it is the largest of its kind in the Western U.S.

The seven-story tall 78,000 square foot facility sits at the corner of Q and 7th streets.

It cools (and heats) the state Capitol and 22 other downtown state landmarks - that's 5.5 million square feet of office space.

It's a LEED certified building, which means it uses less energy and 90 percent less water than its 1968-era predecessor, which is slated for demolition in October.

A second phase of the new project will see solar panels installed on the building, a cost already inlcuded in the $181 million. The plant is equipped so it can also operate off the electrical grid in an emergency, when required.

The new central plant was designed and built by Skanska USA, with the architectural firm of Nach and Lewis of Sacramento.

Photo credit: Ken Hunt, Department of General Services

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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