Posted: 1-4-2017, 3:47 p.m.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar Co.) – Joeris General Contractors has been named general contractor for EPIcenter–a $74 million energy innovation center planned for the historic Mission Road Power Plant located just south of downtown along the Mission Reach of the San Antonio River.
Construction on the more than 80,000-square-foot project is expected to take from 24 to 28 months. It will begin when a critical mass of funding is achieved, according to Joeris.
Situated across the San Antonio River from the historic Lone Star Brewery, EPIcenter will transform the Mission Road corridor.
EPIcenter view from the north upper level.
Kimberly Britton, CEO for EPIcenter, said of the five highly qualified firms that submitted proposals, Joeris distinguished itself with the expertise of the team designated to lead the project, the firm’s focus on renewable energy incorporation, a commitment to safety and a hardwired strategy for interfacing with the community.
“We look forward to collaborating with Gary Joeris and his team to create a one-of-a-kind center that will lead the way in accelerating clean energy innovation,” said Britton.
The architect for EPIcenter is Lake|Flato. The project manager is Project Control.
Built in 1909, the Mission Road Power Plant housed one of the city’s first steam turbo generator units, using water from the San Antonio River to cool its operation. The historic structures, including its iconic smokestack, stand as testaments to the changes in the evolving energy industry and will serve as the foundation and framework for EPIcenter.
In 2015, CPS Energy and its New Energy Economy (NEE) partners–OCI Solar Power, Silver Spring Networks and Landis+Gyr — announced the launch of EPIcenter as a non-profit, private operating foundation.
The project will include an Incubator with collaborative co-working and creative spaces for new energy start-ups; a think tank aimed at advancing the fundamentals of clean energy; a research and development workshop to discuss energy challenges and test solutions; exhibition space with interactive and structural artifacts; a 400-seat auditorium and conference Center; and outdoor venues with terraces, gardens, a restaurant and community spaces.
“We are honored and excited to have the opportunity to work with the EPIcenter leadership on this innovative project,” said Gary Joeris, CEO. “We’ve been committed to the San Antonio community for 50 years and there is nothing more gratifying than engaging in projects that shine a light on the amazing things happening in our great city. This is certainly one of those projects.”
The project is currently in the schematic design phase.
Turbine Hall section of EPIcenter.
Britton added that to date, “All of the work, while impressive, has been conceptual. The first step to understanding the full scope of the project in terms of hard costs, square footage, specific design and engineering needs.”
The next steps are to finalize the plans for the design charrette which will be held in early February. At the charrette, leadership from the organization, the project and the community will more specifically outline the functions within the building and its appearance.
In the interim, EPIcenter will continue its capital campaign to raise an estimated $74 million.
To date, EPIcenter has received $22.2 million in cash and in-kind donations, including the property, from founding sponsors CPS Energy, OCI Solar Power of Silver Spring Networks and Landis+Gyr.
Occupation of the building is planned for 2020-2021.
The EPIcenter plan is to provide a world-class center that will be the hub for clean energy technology innovation, education and community engagement, and entrepreneurial incubation and ideation. The EPI stands for Energy, Partnerships and Innovation.
Components and amenities within the facility will include a 6,200-square-foot grand lobby and exhibition space; a 15,528-square-foot indoor exhibition hall; a 4,500-square-foot, 400-person auditorium and 3,200-square-foot conference center; an 1,875-square-foot ‘Building and Technology Resource Center’; 18,545 square feet of individual offices and labs; 5,000 square feet of collaborative and open workspaces; a 500-person capacity, 19,000-square-foot outdoor event space and 5,000-square-foot outdoor exhibition space; a 2,755-square-foot café; a 2,380-square-foot fabrication laboratory/demonstration zone.
This will be a four-level facility–three stories above ground and one sublevel.
According to the Lake|Flato conceptual narrative, EPIcenter will be a destination and icon at the local, regional and international scale. It will showcase technology through architecture in ways that promote interaction and learning; provide a dynamic and flexible outdoor venue for large gatherings, exhibits and performances; capitalize on existing infrastructure and environmental features of the site; preserve the best features of the historical architecture, creating unique spaces that speak to both the past and future of energy technology.
EPIcenter South Auditorium
Edited in part from a Joeris General Contractors press release