New home for historic artifacts at McClellan

The State of California seized a golden opportunity to save energy while preserving historic artifacts by leasing an empty warehouse formerly used by the U.S. Air Force for material and supply storage. The rail-served building is part of McClellan Business Park, formerly the McClellan Air Force Base.

At a "groundbreaking" ceremony May 30 for the State Parks Collection Center, Museum Curator Ross McGuire described his excitement about finding the perfect building to consolidate the contents of multiplestorage facilities. California State Parks currently stores 1.5 million historic objects and 2 million artifacts in several buildings located in West Sacramento, where they risk destruction in the event of a flood. The new 265,282-square-foot center at McClellan will place these rare historic objects in one safe location, said McGuire.

More than the building's size and security, its energy efficiency is what made it so attractive to McGuire. While Sacramento's summer temperature can reach 105 degrees for days at a time, the building's thick concrete walls, floors and ceiling keep temperatures in the mid-70s. A constant temperature is critical to preserving the artifacts the state plans to bring to the site. This feature alone will significantly reduce the state's energy cost for historic preservation once it takes occupancy in February 2013. The construction project is expected to provide some 200 jobs over the next two years. Work includes updating the exterior façade, landscaping, upgrading the building's cooling and humidification controls. In addition to storage, the building will house offices and research facilities; the lease also includes a 53,000-square-foot fenced yard for vehicle storage and employee parking.

The Air Force Real Property Agency transferred the property to Sacramento County and McClellan Park for redevelopment following the closure of the McClellan Air Force Base in 2001 under the Base Realignment and Closure Act.

Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna, speaking at the May 30 ceremony, described McClellan Park as "the epicenter of creative economic development in our region."