FAIRFIELD — Partnership HealthPlan of California is getting ready to move into one of Fairfield’s more visible office buildings.
The nonprofit group that manages health care benefits for low-income residents and seniors owns the three-story former Copart corporate headquarters near Green Valley that can be seen from Interstate 80. Copart relocated its headquarters to Texas, while keeping a group of employees in Fairfield.
Diane Marcolini and Dave McCallum of Partnership HealthPlan recently walked through now-vacant building. They saw workers getting ready to put in a new carpet on one floor and painting interior trim.
“It’s a beautiful building,” said Marcolini, who is associate director of administrative services.
About 300 Partnership HealthPlan employees are to move Nov. 26 from their Campus Lane offices in Fairfield to their new home.
Partnership HealthPlan’s renovation work on the decade-old Copart building is closer to a touch-up job than a major remodeling. The deal to buy the Copart building even included keeping the Copart cubicles and furniture, except for furniture in the executive offices.
Among the changes to the building is a new use for the major executive suite, a vast room on the third floor with Romanesque columns near windows that look toward Cordelia and Suisun Marsh. It will become a workout room for the employees, with treadmills and other features.
Marcolini looked at the bank of 10 flat screen televisions that overlook the lobby. Copart used them to show films of the race cars it sponsored and live car auctions, creating a striking visual image for people entering the building. She wasn’t certain what Partnership HealthPlan could do with them.
The move has been a long time coming. Partnership HealthPlan bought the building from Copart one and a half years ago, when Copart announced its relocation to Texas. Then Partnership HealthPlan leased the building back to Copart while that company made the long transition.
McCallum said a skeleton crew of Copart employees was still in the building during August.
Partnership HealthPlan paid $14.5 million for the Copart building, McCallum said. While that might seem like a lot of money, the cost to rent its present building over the coming decade or so would be close to $23 million, he said.
The reason for the move is that Partnership HealthPlan is growing. It expects to grow from 300 to 500 employees over the next few years.
Partnership HealthPlan started operations in 1994 as Solano Partnership HealthPlan to manage MediCal benefits for 43,000 Solano County recipients and cut down on emergency room trips. It has since expanded to Napa, Yolo, Sonoma, Marin and Mendocino counties, with Lake County coming into the fold next year. Further expansion could take place beyond that, McCallum said.
Even before Partnership HeathPlan moves into the Copart building, it is outgrowing it, McCallum said. The solution is to use telecommuting when possible, with perhaps as many as 20 percent of the employees working from home within a few years, he said.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.