[caption id="attachment_33821" align="alignright" width="360" caption="Current Napa County Health and Human Services complex"][/caption]

NAPA -- Napa County's Health and Human Services Agency will have its headquarters replaced and nearly doubled in size, as a roughly $26 million plan to upgrade the aging facilities on Old Sonoma Road takes shape.

The Board of Supervisors approved county staff’s recommendation to move forward with initial phases of the project, chiefly the months-long process of conducting an environmental impact report to assess the impact on noise, traffic, air quality and other resources.

With the supervisors’ approval, LSA Associates, a planning and consulting firm that has offices throughout California, will begin the assessment, the county said.

About 15 firms expressed interest in contracting with the county on the EIR process, according to Hillary Gitelman, director of the Conservation, Development and Planning Department.  The contract for the EIR work will not exceed approximately $280,000.

The county is looking to fund the project with accumulated outlay funds reserved for capital projects.

The project to replace the Health Services campus involves the redesign of “outdated and inefficient campus facilities,” according to the county. Initial planning work has suggested the demolition of most of the 12 existing buildings and phased construction of about 184,000 square feet of new space, along with total of 550 parking spaces – more than doubling the current amount of 242 spaces, according to the county.

The current campus, at 2344 Old Sonoma Road, sits on an 8.5 acre site, bounded by Old Sonoma Road, Walnut Avenue, Gesford Street and Pine Street. Constructed in the early 1900s, the campus has outlived its usefulness and will not accommodate the projected growth of Health Services, according to the county.

“It’s a great project,” Ms. Gitelman said.

Ms. Gitelman said the EIR process, including periods for public comment, would take about 12 to 18 months

An architecture firm has not yet been selected to complete the design of the new campus, Ms. Gitelman said, but the Board of Supervisors should have one selected by July, after the Public Works Department views applications.

“We expect to have a schedule of project milestones once the EIR consultant has started work and the master architect is selected,” she said, adding that it would likely occur within the news few months.

The project calls for phased development over the next 20 years and periodic reassessments of where and when additional space may be needed.

Programs on the existing campus include the Public Health Division and Clinic; Mental Health Services; Drug and Alcohol Services; some Self-Sufficiency Services programs; Child Welfare; and Health Services Administration. The remodeled campus will include the remainder of the Self-Sufficiency programs as well as Comprehensive Services for Older Adults.

More information on the project can be found at www.countyofnapa.org/ceo/fmp