Preview of new Blue Oak Ranch buildings

The construction of new buildings at Blue Oak Ranch Reserve is now in full swing. Reserve director Michael Hamilton offers a preview of what the new complex will look like via a digital visualization flyover.

The first building seen in the video is the utility/maintenance shop. This structure will contain solar photovoltaic panels, batteries for off-grid power, backup generator, water system, and propane tank. Trucks are already preparing the ground for the utility building.

Next at left comes the Cedar Barn, which will be completely remodeled to serve as the social hub of the reserve. It will contain a group kitchen, multipurpose room with a fireplace/wood stove, public restrooms, a field laboratory with secure storage, laundry room, office space for users, a library/IT space, and staff office.

To the west and right are four year-round accommodations that will be known as faculty cabins. Two are self-contained, one bedroom, one bath plus kitchen units featuring four beds each. The other two are two bedroom, one bath units with eight beds each plus outdoor shower.

Opposite these are seasonal lodgings consisting of eight mini-cabins with no utilities. Each will have two built in bunk beds, screen windows, a metal roof, decking, and privacy curtains for students.

Finally, the two staff residences are somewhat separated from the center of activity yet still easily accessible. Each home is a three bedroom, two bath unit of approximately 1,400 square feet with lots of windows, decks, and a shared parking area.

Reserve director Hamilton says he’s been pleased with the contractor’s communication and coordination, sensitivity to environmental issues, and timeliness thus far. Funded by Proposition 84, the project should be completed by September 2015.