Thursday, June 6, 2013
Trimet center st staff put out of building
After careful study by staff from many departments, a decision has been made to move almost all TriMet employees out of the first floor of Center Transportation for about a year, during the most intense period of construction at 4012 SE 17th. Between this summer and next spring, almost all business currently handled in and around the Center report area will move to a temporary facility in the parking lot in front of the building. The benefits of this approach include: • More stable environment for employees. Although relocating the report area may sound like a huge upheaval, in the long run it is actually expected to reduce construction stress for operators and other Center Transportation employees. Construction noise and unanticipated utility outages will be less of a problem, for example. • Planning efficiencies. Making one big move will save everybody the stress of a series of little moves. (For example, imagine if one week we had to relocate one bathroom and the kitchen, then the next week the other bathroom and the station agent, and so on.) • Construction efficiencies. Crews will have more flexibility in terms of where, when and how they work. This will save money and time. • Safety. There have been rumors that this relocation is due to some kind of safety surprise, such as structural problems, or hidden toxins. This is not true. It would be possible to continue forward—safely!—with construction while the building was occupied. However, moving most employees out does eliminate some risks. For example, removing and replacing the windows will still require a complete safety plan—but a different one than if 500+ people were going in and out of the building where the windows are, at all hours of the day. The bottom line is that safety is Moving Together’s value—before, during and after the temporary relocation. • Opportunity to reimagine the report area. TriMet has decided to seize the opportunity presented by PMLR/Moving Together construction to conduct a complete remodel of the Center report area. This is an important investment in employee productivity and satisfaction, an effort to create a positive work environment at Center Transportation while laying the groundwork for the possibility of similar remodels at other TriMet facilities. But it does mean that it would be even more complicated to occupy the report area during construction than if only the top three floors were being overhauled. See reverse of this notice for details about when the relocation will start and end, what the temporary facility will be like, and more. WHAT Approximately one-year relocation of almost all TriMet employees out of the first floor of 4012 SE 17th and into an adjacent complex of high-quality temporary structures. WHY Stable work environment for employees; planning and construction efficiencies; safety; better use of opportunity to remodel report area. WHO Document Services and the mailroom will move to a different location, TBA. The spotter shack and moneyroom will remain in the building. All other first floor functions will move to the temporary facility, including the report area, station agents, station management, garage trainers, signup, and lost & found. (The lost & found “TUV” van will go back into storage.) Most amenities will be carried over, including computers, lockers, quiet room, vending machines, kitchenette and the more critical bulletin boards. The major exceptions are the pool tables and ping pong table (stored) and showers (available across the yard to TEI members). WHEN The move to the temporary facility will happen after the 2013 summer service change, probably in late June/early July. Exact dates TBA. Operators and other first floor personnel—as well as Operations departments such as Transportation Training and Service Planning & Scheduling—are scheduled to begin returning to the remodeled building in the spring of 2014, with Dispatch and Control moving to Center St later in 2014. WHERE A modular complex of temporary structures will be located in Lot A, in front of the building. Most functions—station agent, station management, operator tables and chairs, signup, etc.—will be under one roof. Restrooms will be connected to the main structure by a deck. The lost & found structure will be detached from the other structures. The complex will be fully ADA compliant. PARKING One ADA space will remain in Lot A. Ten ADA spaces will be created in the bus yard. Staff will be in touch with Center Transportation employees with ADA permits to get them bus yard parking permits. In late July 2013, a new parking lot—Lot E—will open for employee use and bus yard parking will begin to phase out. Lot E is located behind PGE, north of Center St., where the construction trailers are now. It will be paved, fenced and gated. HOW MUCH Most of Moving Together’s budget is part of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project (PMLR), because our facilities have to grow to accommodate this expansion of our transit system. Some aspects of Moving Together are not part of PMLR but TriMet determined that it was most strategic to invest in this important work while the rest of the building was under construction. MORE INFO Representatives of many departments—including Transportation, Capital Projects, Maintenance, Facilities, IT and others—are working together on the relocation of the first floor. Watch for more information from Employee Communications, and—if you’re a first floor Center employee—from your manager. See other side for overview of this move.