Construction of Waterloo North Hydro’s new service centre is officially underway after a groundbreaking ceremony held on the site Wednesday morning.
The new facility is located on Country Squire Road in Woolwich Township, just north of the Waterloo boundary. Half of the 104,000-square-foot facility will house administration offices, while the other half will be used for storage and maintenance of vehicles and equipment.
Site preparation is already well underway; work on the foundations will start in two weeks, with the building scheduled to be completed by December 2011. The 100 employees of Waterloo North Hydro who work in the service centre should be moving in before the end of the year, said project manager Pedro Bevelander.
The new facility is more than twice the size of the existing 47,000-square-foot service centre. Waterloo North Hydro bought 35 acres of property, 7.5 acres of which will be used for a storage yard. In the future, the site might also have a transformer station; one of the factors that led to the selection of the site was the Hydro One high power line crossing the property.
“There’s enough space for future growth,” Bevelander said.
Melloul-Blamey Construction of Waterloo, which built the Woolwich Memorial Centre, received the contract for the construction. The total budget for the project, including purchasing the land, fees and construction costs, furniture and equipment, is $26 million.
The new building will incorporate measures to make it environmentally friendly and energy efficient, including a geothermal heating and cooling system, operable windows and a 40,000-litre rainwater harvesting system.
The old house and farm buildings on the site have been demolished, but some of the materials were saved to be re-used. Concrete was crushed and will be used for structural fill, and the old barn beams, made of elm hardwood, will be reworked into boardroom tables and wood finishes inside the building.
Bevelander said the service centre will be built to a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver standard, and could potentially end up meeting LEED gold standards.
“We’re only three points away from gold,” he said.
WNH plans a controlled transition to the new building once it’s complete. At that point, it will look at selling the current site at 300 Northfield Dr. E.
Waterloo North Hydro delivers electricity to 140,000 residents in the city of Waterloo and Woolwich and Wellesley townships.