The Adams County Pete Mirelez Human Services Center began with the goal to transform a 50-year-old, three-story 315,000-SF manufacturing facility into a modern workplace that would attract and retain the best talent, provide a building that would last another hundred years, and elevate the way in which human services are delivered.
The design concept for this building is “Orchard to Innovation.” Over a hundred years ago, this once rural site was home to beautiful apple orchards. People from the city would make a pilgrimage at least twice a year; in the spring to enjoy the fields of fruit tree blossoms and again in the fall to help with the harvest. Everyone who helped was given a basket of fruit to take home and share with their families. This history of the site serves as a great analogy and aligns with the mission of human services and the purpose of the building today. The orchard and its significance can be seen throughout the interior of the building as a means of wayfinding and in the form of colorful graphics to uplift the mood and nurture positive feelings.
Traditionally, Human Services in Adams County were previously spread across the county in five primary locations, many of which were not on public transportation routes, making the connection of services very difficult to those who needed them most. The new Adams County Pete Mirelez Human Services Center combines all human services under one roof, creating a modern and collaborative workspace for nearly 800 employees while creating a one-stop-shop of all available programs to better service over 500 clients per day.
Vibrant graphics greet all who enter and provide visual cues and branding to inform and empower guests as they navigate the building. To provide a welcoming environment and simplify connecting clients and services, the interior layout is modeled after a shopping mall; with all available services having a storefront presence onto a large public lobby. This large lobby was specifically designed with the clients in mind. Knowing that many clients inside are feeling high-anxiety as they may be at the lowest, most stressful point in their lives; the lobby takes cues from hospitality design and creates a relaxing environment that emulates a hotel lobby to help ease stress and make guests feel welcome. In addition to comfortable furnishings, the large lobby is designed in zones to meet guests’ variety of needs to help put them at ease. Quiet areas are located away from dedicated kid zones; self-help kiosks are plentiful, and all are surrounded by multi-lingual call system displays to help ease the stress of those waiting; there is plenty of room to accommodate everyone comfortably inside.