California state government’s recent survey of the buildings it owns ranked them for physical condition – the ratio of repair costs to replacement costs – and safety. None of the Sacramento buildings’ scores fell into the “very poor” range, but here is an installment of five that are listed as “poor,” meaning they will need large-scale renovation soon.
The state building at 1600 Ninth St., known as the Bateson Building, has been held up as an achievement in architecture.
Completed in 1981 during Gov. Jerry Brown’s second term, the Bateson building exemplified Brown’s vision – part of a plan that “set out to create positive examples of state office buildings as models of energy efficiency and humane working environments,” according to a recent state study.
“[T]he Gregory Bateson Building was a flagship for the state’s Energy Efficient Office Building Program ... The building included a number of passive heating and cooling features which had never before been employed at the institutional scale,” said Brian Ferguson, spokesman for the Department of General Services, in an e-mail.
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The building has, among other things, a large atrium with fans that move air down from the warm ceiling area on cold days, and up to the outside on hot days.
But now, it has fallen into disrepair, at least to some degree. The state’s recent study, or Facility Condition Assessment, ranked it poor, the fourth worst state building in Sacramento. It recommends spending over $16 million on fixes in the next year, including money to repair leaks in windows and balconies.
Gregory Bateson was a philosopher whom Brown appointed to the University of California Board of Regents in 1978.
Gregory Bateson Building
Address: 1600 Ninth Street
Year constructed: 1981
Major tenant(s): Department of Developmental Services, Health and Human Services Agency, Department of State Hospitals
Capacity: 1,086 people
Estimated cost of repairs needed in next 12 months: $16,907,016
Safety issues: Most of building lacks fire sprinkler system; fire hose cabinets are out of service.
Accessibility issues: Doors need automatic openers.
Other urgent repairs needed: Windows leak and have deteriorated, balcony floors are leaking into offices below them.
Historic designation: None.
Source: Facility Condition Assessment by EMG, a consultant.