When you drive by our office in Osceola, our building will look pretty much as it did for years on the outside, but the inside is completely different.
The main entrance has been relocated back to the west side of the building as it was originally intended when built in 1953, and the glass windows across the front harken back to its original designed glory.
We kept our original office building and location to keep our costs down and to retain its history. When entering the main office now, not only will you be greeted by the windows and doors reminiscent of the original building, but also you will see the original terrazzo flooring in the lobby. The original brick entry has been incorporated into a new and updated look, with the windows throughout the building providing natural light as intended when it was built. The ceiling in the main entrance was left open to give the area a more spacious look and feel.
From the outside, you may not notice much difference in the appearance of the warehouse because the new building looks similar to our second, smaller, warehouse that was constructed in 2008. Built in 1953, the original warehouse was reworked and doubled in size in 1972 to accommodate larger and more sophisticated bucket and digger trucks of the era. As we reviewed our Facility Improvement Plan, we took into account the size of our trucks today that had again outgrown this space. Raising the roof and widening the doors wouldn’t have been possible without completely rebuilding the warehouse. Now a truck can be driven all the way through the bays without being unhooked from its equipment trailers. And, we added a wash bay to keep trucks clean which also helps the vehicles last longer and enhances safety. We added a heated floor and drains.
For many reasons related to lack of effective workspaces and an increasingly unhealthy physical working environment, we made the decision to forge ahead with our complete Facility Improvement Plan even as we faced COVID over a year ago. While the plan has been in the works for years, the timing worked to our advantage, coinciding with staff working remotely and making the commitment early, we locked in building material prices.
Now that the project is nearing completion, we want you to know that we made every effort to be conscientious and responsible with the dollars invested. Our top priority throughout has been to provide the best long-term efficient environment in order to continue serving you, our consumer-members, well. Stop in some time and you will see something old and something new!