HUB warehouse may cost $17.5 million

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Why it may cost the community much less

By Cindy Simpson

Harriman Utility Board’s dream warehouse facility could be a costly one.

Among the features would be  an outdoor classroom area and public walking trail along Hannah Creek and a fitness center.

The price, if the facility is built according to plan, would be around $17.5 million for the site improvements and facility on the 38-acre tract on farmland in north Harriman on Hwy. 27.

Those estimates are conservative, according to officials with McGill Associates.

The Harriman Utility Board recently heard from the architects.

“I can guarantee this will be nothing like the current facility,” said McGill project engineer Quentin Craig.

The facility is drawn at 23,600 square feet of office space and 46,600 square feet of warehouse area for electric, water, sewer and gas.

The front of the new building would include a public area for customers and office space as well as a large public meeting place.

The facility would include lots of parking, including areas for the different branches of the utility and plenty of space for utility vehicle storage.

“Staff asked us to provide multiple layers of security,” Craig said.

That includes a fenced-in fueling station.

Other separate structures would include a vehicle maintenance building with vehicle bays.

As for the fitness facility, “Our wellness committee has been recommending some sort of fitness room so the employees can go after hours or before work,” said Chuck Flora, HUB manager.

The justification for relocating the utility’s current facilities is to get the warehouse out of the flood plain.

Architects believe this is one of the many reasons the utility might be able to fund most of the building with grant monies.

Other additional costs would be green initiatives, some that would pay back financially while others would just be for the environment’s sake.

Those include water conservation measures inside and outside the building, storm water reuse, solar energy, using daylight to help light the building, landscaping with native plants and using a natural gas fueling station.

The architecture firms also talked about the LEED program, which uses a rating system to acknowledge projects that use green iniatives.

It’s an internationally recognized program for green buildings.

HUB chairman Gary Goff wasn’t so sure if the utility should invest in the cost of participating with LEED, but said the utility could still implement many of the green practices without making that commitment.

Goff said grant money is available for solar paneling and that some organizations sell the excess energy.