New co-op complex project on schedule
The new headquarters for Washington Electric Cooperative is taking shape along Highland Ridge Road, and the project continues on schedule toward an expected move-in date in January.
"The roof is on the entire office section, and some temporary siding has been installed. And the office partitions are currently being built," said Ken Schilling, general manager and CEO of Washington Electric Cooperative.
He said interior concrete has been poured and finished, and the superstructure for the back side of the 30,000-square-foot building is going up.
"I'd say 85 to 90 percent of the site excavation work has also been done," Schilling said.
The $3 million facility will allow the cooperative to consolidate its current offices on Colegate Drive in Marietta, the operations center on Ohio 821, and some rented storage space into one building.
"We've vacated the rental storage space, and our 406 Colegate Drive office is up for sale," Schilling said.
The 6,500-square-foot office facility is located on 2.5 acres.
The 8,000-square-foot operations center property, on 4.4 acres, is also up for sale and includes a rental house as well as the warehouse building.
"Our target date for moving into the new building is January, 2012," Schilling said. "So we're hoping to find buyers interested in taking possession of the two older properties by the first of the year."

Fact Box

At a glance
Washington Electric Cooperative is building a new 30,000-square-foot complex on Highland Ridge Road.
Construction is expected to be completed by January.
The cooperative is selling its current office building at 406 Colegate Drive in Marietta and the current operations center on Ohio 821 just north of the I-77 interchange.
For more information go to the company Web site at weci.org
He said there have been several interested parties looking at the property, but no firm offers yet.
Mark Mondo Building & Excavating of Reno is the general contractor on the project, and Schilling said Mondo is using local labor and subcontractors as much as possible.
"It was a struggle when the project first started this spring because the weather was so wet and the site became too muddy," Schilling said. "But we're currently back on target for completion in January."
The new headquarters will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, meaning the building will use green energy- and cost-saving technologies like solar panels, geothermal heating, and high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment.
Other savings will be realized through high-efficiency windows, fluorescent and LED lighting, and extra insulation as well as water-saving plumbing and restroom facilities.
"As a power provider we encourage our customers to use energy-saving technology, so we feel we should be setting the example in our building," Schilling said.
The company had applied for a $75,000 grant through the United States Department of Agriculture to assist with installation of the solar panels, but Schilling said the grant was not funded, so the cooperative decided to go ahead and pay for the panels which will be installed on the roof of the new facility.
He said internal metering will also be installed so that customers and the general public can see how much energy the solar array will generate.
"And the solar panel system should be about the equivalent of what a private homeowner would install on a typical house," Schilling added. "So we hope to have a lot of good information about solar energy and other energy savings devices to share with the public."
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