County Registrar of Voters John Tuteur walked through the hallways of a former Dey Labs building where the elections office is temporarily located and pointed to a rod extending from the ceiling.
Pull the rod and the result is an emergency body wash, Tuteur said.
Parts of the sprawling, former Dey Labs campus at 2751 Napa Valley Corporate Drive still look like places designed for doing pharmaceutical research. That’s true even though Napa County is using the location as temporary quarters for 150 of the more than 300 employees who had downtown offices damaged by the Aug. 24 earthquake.
Napa County bought the former Dey Labs campus in 2013 for $25 million to become the home for its Health and Human Services Agency after remodeling the buildings. Now the campus has become a home-away-from-home for county employees awaiting earthquake repairs.
The Registrar of Voters office is storing ballots in a lab room that has an eyewash station. The adjacent hallways have insect zappers. One room is unusually cold, apparently a useful climate for some of the Dey Labs activities.
“This was a manufacturing room, I think,” Tuteur said Tuesday as he stood in a space that will be used to sort ballots on Election Night.
In a nearby warehouse bay where forklifts once worked, the county has 360 boxes full of building records for the county Assessor Division.
“Plenty of space,” Tuteur said.
In another former Dey Labs building, the supervisors on Tuesday held their first meeting in a makeshift Board of Supervisors chamber. It’s a no-frills setup in what was a Dey Labs training room, with supervisors sitting behind tables draped with black cloth. Wires for the sound system are taped to the carpet near the tables.
But the temporary chamber is fancier than what remains of the earthquake-scarred permanent chamber on the third floor of the County Administration Building in downtown. Plastic ceiling tiles are missing. Broken water pipes for the heating-and-cooling system caused water damaged.
The rest of the third floor has a similar look. Workers have already torn out drenched carpets to expose concrete floors. They’ve replaced water-damaged dry wall in a stairwell before mold could grow.
“It’s all fixable,” county Public Works Director Steven Lederer said Tuesday as he walked through the damaged area. “It’s just going to take time.”
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted to declare that its meetings will be held at the former Dey Labs site for perhaps the coming six months. The site is two and a half miles from downtown.
After the earthquake, it held meetings at the Napa County Sheriff’s Office near the Napa County Airport and at the Napa County Transportation and Planning Agency facilities on Burnell Street.
Meanwhile, the county is still using the bottom two floors of the County Administration Building. The worst damage came on the top floor.