Inter-County to build new $6 million facility

April 15, 2004|HERB BROCK

Inter-County Energy will break ground Friday on a new headquarters. The new facility will be built on the same 1009 Hustonville Road site of the existing building, but it will be more than twice the size of the 53-year-old structure.

The groundbreaking ceremony, which will take place at 1 p.m., will be for a new $6 million, 29,000-square-foot structure that will replace the current 13,000-square-foot facility that has served as Inter-County's headquarters since 1951. Construction, which will be done by Branscum Construction Co. of Russell Springs, is expected to be completed in mid 2005.

Jim Jacobus, president and CEO of Inter-County Energy, said the decisions to build a new headquarters and to keep it at its current site came after several months of planning and meetings with architects from the CDS Associates architectural firm of Florence.

While it was determined that the utility needed about 26,000 square feet to meet office and support needs, Jacobus said those involved in the planning also decided it was important to keep the headquarters at a well-known, accessible location.


The current facility is not large enough and "mandated" Inter-County Energy's leaders to consider building a much bigger facility, Jacobus said. But company officials and CDS architects determined it would be a "fiscally responsible choice to use the land we already own. ... Besides, we enjoy our location," he said.

The focus of the planning for the new building was customer service, he said.

"The customer service areas in our current building are cramped and the parking lot and access to the drive-through window are less than desirable," said Jacobus. "Our employees are committed to providing good community services, and our current building makes that a challenge."

A 2,400-square-foot community room

In addition to much more spacious customer service areas, the new building will include a 2,400-square-foot community room that will be available to schools and community groups for meetings and training seminars, he said. "The current building used to have a community room, but as Inter-County's customer base and staff grew, many parts of the building were altered and changed from their original functions, including that area," Jacobus said.

In addition to the new building, a 10,000-square-foot loading dock will be constructed next to the existing warehouse.

Construction of the new building and dock will be done in phases over the next year so that business still can be conducted in the existing headquarters.

"The new building is designed not only for the present but for the future of Inter-County Energy and our customers," said Jacobus. "Much more care went into designing a structure that will encourage energy efficiency, customer convenience and add value to the community."

Since Inter-County Energy was started in 1951 - under the title Inter-County Rural Electric Cooperative, a name it had until a couple of years ago - the utility's customer base has grown by 227 percent and its staff by 70 percent.

Inter-County Energy currently serves 23,621 customers in 12 central Kentucky counties, including Boyle, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties.

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