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Something Old Something New

sentinel_bldg_newSLocal Business and Non Profit Partner to Revitalize Sentinel Building
The long-anticipated retrofit of the Santa Cruz Sentinel building is about to nearly open for business. The designers, builders, owners and future tenants of the revamped building welcomed Good Times to a preview of its new “green” home on Friday, Nov. 12. Our tour inspired feelings of pride to see what can be accomplished when business works to preserve tradition while developing a modern workspace.

The original Sentinel building was operated by our local newspaper from 1966 to 2007 when it moved to Scotts Valley. In 2008 local internet provider Cruzio and the progressive non-profit Ecology Action partnered with Appenrodt Commercial Properties to purchase and redesign the space at the corner of Cedar and Church Street in Downtown Santa Cruz. Out first impression? Nothing short of wow.

The classic rock exterior of the original building has been preserved, along with some of the original internal appointments. Many walls were removed, others erected, to open up the space for natural light and passive solar heating. Cruzio will physically host its internet servers and our county’s only server co-location facility complete with 24 gigabit ultra high-speed fiber Internet, backup generators and natural air cooling. Ecology Action has used advanced natural materials to create a showcase workspace.

sentinel_bldg_oldCruzio’s space will house the company, as well as new co-working spaces that will offer broadband, access to a coffee bar and multi-media conference rooms. Ecology Action’s space will house all of the organization’s Santa Cruz County operations, ending a three-year search for headquarters space.

Some of the Ultra-Green features of the new building include:
• Chimney-effect natural ventilation
• Retractable awnings
• Solar electric panels
• Rainwater catchment
• Low-energy LED outdoor lighting
• On-site composting
• On-site laundry to foster use of cloth rather than paper

sentinel_bldg_new• Pesticide-free property maintenance
• Recycled, rapidly renewable and re-used materials used for construction
• Low/no emissions paints, adhesives, etc.
• Indoor bike parking, electric vehicle charging stations and much more.

The building is LEED certified. The developers were also able to preserve the City’s oldest magnolia tree (in place since the Civil war) while adding numerous native plants as part of a drought tolerant landscape plan.

This project showcases how good design can be economically viable. All the principals expressed how important they believe it is to add professional jobs to the retail base in downtown. While construction continues the building should be open for new tenants and the public by the first of the new year. Stay tuned


Cruzio’s Peggy Dolgenos and Ecology Action’s Vice President Chuck Tremper share their perspective on the project.



Article by Jeffrey Hotchkiss, Policy Pillars self help tools & JeffsList.net funny stuff & audio drama.

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