The Ely Times
Mt. Wheeler Power held a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a brand new 25,000 square-foot, climate-controlled, vehicle storage and warehouse.
This will also include two new office spaces and secure front office as part of a large scale renovation to the 35 year old building.
On July 23, Mt. Wheeler Power’s board of directors approved plans for the $7 million renovation project.
Mt. Wheeler Power CEO Kevin Robison explained the need.
“Our aging building and infrastructure were falling behind in functionality and safety, and a major renovation was inevitable.,” he said. “When we embarked on this journey, we knew we needed to better protect the $4 million in equipment that we currently store outside.”
Following the mantra of Mt. Wheeler, “We empower safety,” the co-op’s leadership emphasized the need to provide much-needed modernizations to the office to provide a much safer and more secure environment for their staff and members.
“Unfortunately, the open access to our offices and staff that we have always had is now considered a risk to our employees and members,” Robison said. “Their safety has remained paramount throughout the planning process.”
In Spring of 2018, Mt. Wheeler Power enlisted the help of Cooperative Building Solutions to complete an assessment of the property condition and a feasibility and functionality study. CBS, is based out of St. Louis, Missouri, and works exclusively for electric cooperatives, backed by 80 years of industry experience.
Excavation began Aug. 26, and co-op leadership held a small groundbreaking ceremony, and Sept. 10, was an official event for the groundbreaking.
Contractors will begin interior preparations early October, and member service representatives will relocate to a temporary workspace in the downstairs board room.
Robison said, “While these accommodations are not ideal, we will continue to provide the high quality of service our members expect and deserve, we appreciate everyone’s patience and continued cooperation as we make these important improvements. We are as committed as ever to the future of our communities.”
Being able to serve as an example, and encourage others to incorporate similar approaches and designs into existing facilities throughout the community, is something Mt. Wheeler is hoping will catch on around the county.
“As we invest in the ‘Powering of the Future’ of Mt. Wheeler Power, our focus and goals are to receive value and sustainability in all that we do, on behalf of our members and our communities within our service territory,” Robison said. “This project puts these ideals to work. Providing a safe environment for our employees, members, and protecting of our assets that are becoming valuable and necessary to our work”