The new office building will be located on property owned by Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative (AVECC), which is located behind its current office at 1811 West Commercial Street in Ozark, Arkansas.
AVECC’s current headquarters was dedicated in 1961 when the cooperative had 61 employees and 13,300 members. Over the past 56 years membership quadrupled and the number of employees doubled.
AVECC began evaluating the requirements for existing and future facilities in 2015 by commissioning an evaluation with an architectural firm to evaluate renovation of the current facilities. Given the current facility’s age, additional remodeling was deemed more expensive than new construction. AVECC CEO, Al Simpson said, “We currently have people working in areas that were designed as storage or equipment rooms. The electrical system, roof, heat and air and overall condition of the building is aging and in need of constant upgrade. It has come to the point where it is no longer feasible to keep repairing a building that no longer is capable of effectively serving our day-to-day needs.
According to Simpson, “The cost of the facility will not affect rates. This project is not an expense that hits our bottom line in a single year; it is an investment in our infrastructure paid over time. The site of the new building was chosen in part because it is adjacent to AVECC’s current warehouse and pole/transformer storage yard. The ability to incorporate some of the existing areas of the current facility provided AVECC a substantial cost savings.”
The new building will feature an expanded lobby with payment center and multiple drive through areas. Expansion and growth areas are also provided within the plan.
Simpson said, “The new facility will be built to Energy Star guidelines. “AVECC will use innovative technologies like LED lighting and a geothermal heat and air system to substantially reduce energy use and operating costs.”
The facility is expected to be completed in May of 2019.