CREC breaks ground for new headquarters
Construction on the new Cuivre River Electric Cooperative headquarters facility officially kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony held on June 26 at the co-op’s current headquarters, 1112 E. Cherry Street in Troy. The new building is being constructed on the same site, to be situated on what is currently the employee parking lot.
“It was important to the board that our headquarters remain in Troy,” General Manager/CEO Doug Tracy said. “And building on our current site rather than buying land somewhere else is a cost savings, which is also something that the board is mindful of; making sure we continue to be good stewards of our members’ money,” he said.
Following an extensive evaluation of the co-op’s current facility in Troy by Cooperative Building Solutions (CBS), the board reviewed the study’s results, which concluded that the existing building would need a great deal of updating, to accommodate both growing functionality needs as well as correcting safety concerns.
“Alleviating chronic issues related to an aging structure would have meant a good number of costly repairs,” Tracy said. “The building is close to reaching the end of its useful life, and in this case, it is actually more cost-efficient to construct a new building than to keep ‘band-aiding’ the existing one. Providing a safe environment for members and employees is of the utmost importance.”
Approved by the board in August 2018, the $19 million project will not impact members’ rates in any way, Tracy said, nor will it affect the capital credits that CREC returns to members annually.
“Like any co-op asset, such as new electric poles or a transformer, the building is a long-lasting investment,” he said. “Because we serve a growing dynamic area, one of the benefits is revenue from that growth, which can offset some of the co-op’s financing needs. And with a new, more energy efficient building, we’ll gain some savings in functional expenses.”
CREC is the largest and fastest growing co-op in the state, and with that growth comes the need for additional equipment, along with space for it, according to Tracy. “Simply put, we are running out of room in our existing facility,” he said.
Construction of the building is expected to last 17-18 months, with an anticipated move-in date sometime in the fall of 2020. CREC is committed to keeping members informed of progress. “Any changes to accessing our current headquarters during construction will be communicated,” Tracy said. “We want to ensure that members can still stop by the building to sign up, pay a bill or talk with someone about their service/account if they need to.”