When you live at 7,880 feet (2,402 meters) above sea level and your community hosts 1.3 million visitors in the winter and 1.5 million in the summer, it’s important to know that you and your visitors are safe. That’s where the Mono County Search & Rescue Team comes in!
The Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team is an environmental non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to saving lives. They do searches and rescues at any time, in any weather, for as long as it takes, for free. Each year they put in approximately 2,000 in-person training hours so that they can be prepared to save the lives of both residents and visitors to the Eastern Sierras!
During its 43-year existence, the volunteer group has never had a permanent location to store equipment and rescue vehicles or to hold meetings and trainings. The non-profit currently has a project proposal for a contemporary search and rescue facility located at 1315 Meridian Boulevard in Mammoth Lakes, CA. The land will be leased to the group for 20 years by the Mammoth Community Water District. The building will be made possible by donations of funds and architect services, as well as endless fundraising efforts. $750,000 is needed to bring the project from start to finish.
The structure will have a building footprint of 3,850 square feet, which will include approximately 235 square feet of office space, 3,180 square feet of garage/parking space and a loft area that includes approximately 640 square feet of meeting area space and a 230 square foot kitchen area.
The industrial, modern design of the building is meant to blend in with the surrounding water district facilities; however, the use of a white roof for natural cooling in the summer came up as an issue at a Planning Commission meeting in May 2011. Some commissioners felt that a white roof would stick out, despite similar roofs on many of the water district’s buildings. It was argued that it was uncompetitive for Mammoth to allow the man-made to dominate the natural landscape architecture. In the end, it was decided that after the removal of 11 trees that currently shield the buildings from view, the project will be required to plant 19 new trees. Since the number of new trees exceeds the number of trees being removed, the project conforms to Town codes.
How important is the design of structures that are meant to house critical, volunteer services?
Credits: Images and data linked to sources.