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The Samarkand Retirement Community Tops Out New $4 Million LifeCenter

By Colette Claxton for The Samarkand |

With the final roof tile set in place recently, The Samarkand, a faith-based, nonprofit, continuing care retirement community operated by Covenant Retirement Communities, is moving toward the spring 2014 opening of its new $4 million LifeCenter.

According to interior designer Jenette Kinsler, the 9,527-square-foot, two-story building will be “quintessential Santa Barbara” in both design and materials.

“The whole team embraced the city’s attention to detail and environmental sensitivity,” Kinsler said. “We responded strongly to the desire that the building fit in, not only the design, but also the suppliers who provide the materials.”

“We are being both environmentally sensitive and socially responsible in bringing something new to our campus and to the city,” Samarkand Executive Director Tim Ficker said. “We are maintaining the design style that gives our area such unique appeal, reflecting Santa Barbara’s commitment to environmental consciousness and using socially responsible purchasing that supports local economic objectives.”

When complete, the new building will be the hub of community life for The Samarkand’s 343 residents. It will house a café with indoor and outdoor seating areas; an aerobics/multipurpose room; a wellness clinic and fitness center; a computer lab; office space for the community’s 40 resident-led committees; a studio for the in-house TV channel; a gallery of Samarkand history; and space for the residents’ clothing/accessories resale boutique.

“The project has a custom element like the high-end residential projects we work on,” Pyramid Marble Tile and Masonry controller Cary Hitsman said. “The Samarkand has been a retirement community in Santa Barbara for more than 50 years. The building expands the opportunities available to residents. It’s great to see they’re upgrading the facility, looking to the future, and using local contractors to get it done.”

In addition to Santa Barbara contractor Trabucco & Associates, four other local California companies are contributing to assure that the building integrates as closely as possible to the local community.

» Santa Barbara Forge & Iron is providing ornamental wrought iron gates, doors and grills, staircase banisters and patio railings consistent with the Spanish architectural heritage of the area.

» Steven Handleman Studios of Santa Barbara is creating interior and exterior lighting fixtures that epitomize the Santa Barbara mission style.

» Pyramid Marble Tile and Masonry of Santa Barbara is supplying and installing multiple colors and styles of clay and porcelain tiles reminiscent of the Spanish colonial era. They are also fabricating and installing countertops.

» MDC Millworks Inc. of Sunset Beach is providing beam work, stairways, specialty pieces, counters and custom cabinetry.

Three Santa Barbara companies are helping to ensure that the landscaping is environmentally responsible, has a low allergy potential and is sensitive to water use, the micro climate, the neighborhood and the existing landscaping.

» Arcadia Studio of Santa Barbara is enhancing the Santa Barbara style of the architecture with sustainable landscape design.

» Arbor Services of Santa Barbara is the consulting arborist responsible for the health of the trees as well as tree trimming and removal.

» Kitson Landscape Management of Santa Barbara manages The Samarkand’s landscaping and will install the landscaping for the LifeCenter.

The third building The Samarkand has added to its campus since 2000, the LifeCenter’s design and construction reflects Santa Barbara’s passion for environmental sustainability. The building will feature elements of LEED certified design, construction, operation and maintenance solutions, including:

» Recycled nearly 100 percent of the material from the maintenance building, which was removed to make way for the LifeCenter

» Locally or regionally produced construction materials

» Permeable pavers used in walkway and plaza areas reduce storm water runoff and enhance the return to groundwater

» Landscaping irrigation system using reclaimed/recycled wastewater treated to remove solids and certain impurities

» Landscaping with native species to limit watering

» Protecting existing oak trees and replacing nine oak trees that had to be removed with 28 15-gallon oak trees planted throughout the campus; one 48-inch box oak tree and one 48-inch box Arbutus "Marina" — Marina strawberry tree planted near the LifeCenter

» Wall, floor, and ceiling insulation R-values that meet or exceed code

» Mitigating noise in mechanical well with sound-absorbing panels

» Double-glazed, energy efficient windows

» Energy efficient compact fluorescent light fixtures

» Low VOC interior paint

— Colette Claxton represents The Samarkand.

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