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AEP Ohio announces plans to build new Grandview Service Center

by on September 12, 2013
An artist’s rendering of the new Grandview Service Center.

(Story by Fay White)

AEP Ohio employees located at Grandview Service Center in Grandview Heights, Glenwood Service Center in Columbus and district servicers scattered throughout the Columbus area are excited to be moving into a brand new facility.

Construction will begin soon on a new Grandview Service Center. The new 33,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility will replace the current Grandview Service Center located on Goodale Avenue, which will be demolished.

The building project will improve safety, working conditions and operational efficiency for the underground line, line servicer, meter repair and contractor groups who will be housed in the new center.

“The plan proposes replacement of three inefficient and obsolete facilities — the current Goodale Avenue facility and two buildings on Glenwood Avenue,” said Selwyn Dias, AEP Ohio vice president – distribution system.

“Both facilities are in need of major, ongoing repair. Given the costs associated with maintenance, it was determined that these World War II era facilities should be replaced with a new, modern facility.”

Dias said both facilities, which are deteriorating and unsafe, are in need of immediate replacement.

The Glenwood Avenue facility, constructed in 1939 to house the Columbus Railway Power and Light Company, is home to 28 underground line and meter laboratory employees who will be moving to the new Grandview center.

Joining them will be 24 Columbus district line servicers, along with six repair shop employees currently working in the old Grandview facility, bringing the total number of employees to occupy the new building to 58.

“The proposed cost of the project, including demolition, remediation and new building construction is estimated at $4.8 million,” said Tim Wells, AEP Ohio manager, economic and business development. “The new building also provides opportunities for economic development incentives.”

According to Wells, the city of Grandview Heights is considering offering the company a 15-year, 50 percent tax abatement for improvements which will not only help enhance the overall aesthetics of the Goodale Avenue corridor, but also bring economic stimulus to the area.

Annual payroll for employees moving to the new facility is expected to increase from $386,029 to $3.5 million. Approximately 25 jobs are expected to be created during construction.

“This is a win-win situation for all parties involved,” Dias said. “The new facility will improve the working conditions for employees who for years had been working in substandard buildings, and strengthen the team dynamics and culture of these groups as well.”

Jeffrey Hicks, supervisor distribution system – Columbus Underground Line Group said, “The Columbus Network Group is very excited about moving to the new Grandview Service Center next year.”

“The new service center has been a long time in the works and is a much needed asset for our group. The facility will give our group much more ability for onsite training and better operating ability.”

The project is expected to be completed in 2014.

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