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New Tucson Water Treatment Facility Completed

22 Jan 2014, 8:38 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Tucson Water’s Advanced Oxidation Process Water Treatment Facility has recently been inaugurated. Construction began in July 2012 and was completed on schedule and within budget.

Located west of Interstate 19 near Irvington Road, the new plant will operate in conjunction with the adjacent Tucson Airport Remediation Project facility to produce up to a daily total of 8 million gallons of purified water.  The new 4,500-square-foot treatment facility is equipped with state-of-the-art gear, designed to remove 1,4-dioxane and other contaminants from water.

From the 1940s, industrial activity at the aircraft manufacturing facilities in the Tucson International Airport area contaminated the surrounding groundwater supplies with solvents for over 30 years. These chemicals contained a stabilizing compound called 1,4-dioxane, an ether with damaging effect to the central nervous system and several organs,  irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract.

AOP technology combines UV light with hydrogen peroxide to remove 1,4-dioxane from the underground plume at the TARP wellfield, in order to reach a degree of purity advised by the Environmental Protection Agency. Although EPA does not currently regulate 1,4-dioxane, two years ago the agency issued a drinking water health advisory for 1,4-dioxane of 0.35 parts per billion. Tucson Water performs thousands of tests each year on water samples and reports the results to customers, elected officials, and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Tucson Water Director Alan Forrest hosted the dedication ceremony held on Jan. 15. He pointed out that the water produced from the TARP and AOP treatment facilities meets all federal drinking water standards and is safe for drinking, cooking, and bathing. “Tucson Water’s commitment to ensuring that customers have enough safe, high-quality water today and in the future is a strategic approach that we fully support,” said Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, who was also present at the inaugural. “This new AOP Water Treatment Facility is an important investment in our community’s water quality and long-term water reliability,” he added.

Photo credits: City of Tucson

School Wins Office Makeover by Goodmans Interiors Structures

16 Jan 2014, 8:13 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

The Edge School at Himmel Park recently won Goodmans Interior Structures’ “Eye for the Good GuyS Board Governance Award.” The prize was a $20,000 office makeover that also gave the local nonprofit charter high school a bigger and more modern state-of-the-art assembly hall with a capacity to seat 25 people.

Other participants in the sprint for the 2013 Good GuyS award were Assistance League of Tucson, Beads of Courage, Children’s Museum Tucson and Junior League of Tucson. In the past years, executives of other nonprofit organizations were awarded the recognition and had their offices almost completely re-equipped as tribute to their realizations. The prize was often shared between several of them.

The mission of Edge High School is to provide counseling and education alternative for students who have dropped out of school or who are at risk of doing so. In 2008, the board and administration of the school worked with the Industrial Development Authority of Pima County to issue a bond to purchase and renovate the main school campus at Himmel Park.

According to Arizona Daily Star, a broken room divider previously stood in the way, making it difficult to exploit the possibilities of the space. Besides removal of the divider, the walls were painted, electrical outlets added and flooring and ceiling tiles replaced. Goodmans Interiors Structures also provided stackable tables and chairs along with a 70-inch flat-panel TV and a mobile whiteboard.

Photo credits: Google Maps

Signature Vacation Rentals Enters Tucson Market

16 Jan 2014, 4:51 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Signature Vacation Rentals has expanded its operation by opening a new branch office in Tucson.

President Steve Schwab named Jeanie Anaya as the new branch manager for the Signature Vacation Rentals Tucson office at 6700 N. Oracle, Suite 332.

“I am excited for the property owners who lease their properties for short- and long-term rentals in the Tucson area,” Schwab said in a statement. “With our owner-centric process of management backed by our powerful Property Management Systems, the property owners in Tucson can expect excellent property exposure, increased rentals and great service with integrity.”

Launched in 2011, Signature Vacation Rentals is an affiliate of The Schwab Organization. Founded by Schwab, the parent organization came to life in 2001 in Puerto Penasco, Mexico and is dedicated to client services, community service and cross border business.

The new sub-office will focus on offering vacation rental property owners and guests a professional mediation. Since its inception, the company has expanded staff and continued to incorporate technological advances to be able to keep up with the ever increasing demand and continue to meet requirements of owners and guests in the industry.

Beyond employing licensed real estate agents, the company also works with a designated broker who oversees the operations. According to Schwab, the firm’s accounting system is CPA certified, and they have passed their audits with the State of Arizona consistently.

Photo credits: Google Maps 

Luxury 274-Unit Mixed-Use Project in the Pipeline for Oro Valley

16 Jan 2014, 4:04 pm

By Balazs Szekely Associate Editor

Luxury apartments and a retail center are coming to the North Oracle Road and First Avenue intersection in Oro Valley. The mixed-use project’s location is part of an area that was approved as a planned area development in 2002.

Although developers have not yet broken ground at the site, Arizona Daily Star reports that CVS Pharmacy, Panera Bread, Mattress Firm and Universal Nails & Spa have already signed to lease commercial spaces of yet undisclosed square-footage. According to Inside Tucson Business, Paradise Bakery has also shown interest in expanding its operations to San Dorado at Oro Valley Town Centre, as the complex will be called.

Scottsdale-based Mark-Taylor Capital and Kitchell Development joined forces for the construction of the 274-unit residential component, whilst the retail center will be developed by Kitchell alone. The site is owned by Cañada del Oro L.L.C. Delivery is expected by Q3 2014 for the shopping center, but part of the residential units will be move-in-ready a few months earlier. Future residents can choose from homes featuring up to three bedrooms and up to two bathrooms on nine different floor plans ranging from 779 to 1,381 square feet. Ryan Cochran, director of development for Kitchell told the Arizona Daily star that a central “civic area” will include a grassy, park-like space and an area for farmers’ markets and other outdoor activities.

Not far away from the site, another project is also underway. HSL Properties has recently started developing Encantada at Steam Pump Ranch, a 288-unit apartment complex north of Oracle Road and First Avenue.

Photo courtesy: Mark-Taylor

Renovation Completed on Heart and Vascular Institute at St. Mary’s Hospital

15 Jan 2014, 8:23 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

2013 marks a great leap forward for the Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute, which undertook a major expansion, including the adoption of a state-of-the-art hybrid operating suite.

Located on the first and third floors of St. Mary’s Hospital in Tucson, the Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute’s St. Mary’s Campus has been under renovation during the past year. CHVI celebrates the official opening in January. The project cost $17 million and is part of an expansion of Carondelet Health Network’s heart program involving Carondelet’s St. Joseph’s campus as well.

The institute now includes a dedicated Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit; a 21-bed, all private room progressive care unit; a 34-bed telemetry unit; two cardiac catheterization labs; three dedicated operating suites; an electrophysiology suite with cardiac arrhythmia ablation capability; and an endovascular surgical suite for complex aneurysm repair. The jewel in the crown is a hybrid operating suite, which is basically a combination of a cardiac catheterization lab and a cardiothoracic operating room that serves as a remote classroom at the same time. This means that physicians and medical students can observe and learn new techniques and procedures from anywhere in the world via a video stream. The hybrid OR is also equipped with the highest quality X-ray imaging for optimal visualization during complex surgical procedures. The high-tech equipment guarantees that patients as well as the crew are exposed to minimal radiation.

St. Mary’s holds a number of national titles such as Joint Commission-certified Primary Stroke Center, Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence and Distinguished Hospital for Critical Care. The hospital is also among the top 100 in the nation for stroke care, and Healthgrades’ Patient Safety Excellence Award places it among the top 10 percent of US hospitals for quality and safety. In 2013, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association also honored the hospital with a Gold Plus Award for Stroke Care. Michael Hecht, MD and chief medical officer of Carondelet Specialist Group told the press that “the vision of Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute is to be nationally recognized as a premier destination for modern cardiovascular care through clinical excellence, research and physician education.”

Photo courtesy of Carondelet Health Network