Introduction

As we approach the completion of our new corporate headquarters facility, we have seen an increase in interest in how the construction is coming along.  To facilitate sharing knowledge with you, our member / owners, we have created this webpage.  It is our intent to keep you informed and to address many of the questions and comments we are hearing.

 

As with any construction project, issues arise.  Some issues are expected while others are unexpected.  An example of an expected issue is weather and the affect it has on the schedule.  We had no doubt that the weather would play a part in this construction therefore we anticipated some impact.  What has been unexpected was the time and impact of a hurricane and a strong tropical storm.

 

We are breaking this page down into sections based on different topics.  Be sure and come back to this page often for the most up to date information on what is going on and the latest on the expected completion timeline.

 

A Brief History

 

Once our North Center was completed in 2016 in Raeford, our attention shifted to addressing our headquarters building in Red Springs.  Portions of this building have been in existence since the early 1940s.  As you can imagine, the maintenance required for the 70+ year old building is extensive and costly.  We finally reached a point where it made more sense to replace than to continue to repair.

 

Site selection:  With the transfer of several line crews to our North Center location focused to give a quicker response to members in that area, we focused on doing the same for the members to the south.  After evaluating land costs, taxes and other financial impacts, it was determined to relocate to the selected site location in Pembroke.  The location provides more consistent coverage for all our membership in the southern portion of our territory while keeping costs of a new facility in line.

 

Contract/Design/Build:  To ensure our cost evaluation was maintained, a “guaranteed maximum” (GMAX) price contract was executed.  The GMAX price of the building was established at $23,248,975.14. The price of the building includes monies for contingencies for items we may have missed in our initial planning efforts.  Once the price was settled, we then developed the design of the building and began construction. Construction began May 30, 2017.

 

Third Party Oversite:   To provide us a level of professional expertise that we do not have on staff at the cooperative, we have hired a professional licensed engineering firm to support us as we work through the final stages of this project.  They help ensure that construction standards and contractual obligations are met, and monies spent are accounted for properly.  Below you will find listed some of the areas / concerns that we are addressing.

 

Areas / Concerns

 

Asphalt:  After looking at the initial plans, LREMC determined that we wanted to expand the areas within the fence where asphalt was included.  This was a safety consideration.  The additional asphalt provides greater safety margins for line trucks turning and passing.  The contract also required that a 3rd party tester should ensure that the compaction depths and asphalt thickness met the required dimensions for the weight of the vehicles we would have traveling at our facilities.  The satisfactory results of these tests were met and have been documented through the certification and sealing of an independent engineering firm.

 

Additional Third Gate: At our request, LREMC added an additional 3rd gate at the rear of the property.  This additional gate will provide a safer and easier access for large trucks transporting trailers carrying poles as well as alleviate congestion at the other gates during our heavy traffic periods.

 

Wash Bay:  The original plans called for a 2 truck wash bay.  It was determined that the 2 truck configuration was not needed.  The reduction in the plans eliminating the need for the second vehicle did not adequately allow for a single full sized line truck to be able to enter the bay and the driver to exit the vehicle to wash the truck.  This is currently being addressed by modifying the wash bay to provide adequate width to accommodate washing a full sized line truck.

 

Roof / Water:

 

Construction: At the time of Hurricane Florence, the roof was not in a completed state.  The roof was not completely sealed.  The ridge caps were not installed around the entire building because the exterior siding (which goes under the edge of the cap) had not been fully installed.   Temporary measures were taken to prevent the possibility of leaking.  This was not successful.  As a result, there was water from the storm that came through the roof.  There was interior wall construction that has been started that was damaged as a result.  All drywall and insulation that was damaged by the water was removed and the walls given time to dry.  When the rains from Tropical Storm Michael arrived, the ridge caps still had not been completely installed.  As a result there was additional damage to interior walls once again.  Again, this damage (drywall and insulation) has been removed and the inside of the walls allowed dry before installation begins again.

 

Water Leaks: Because of the water penetration in the building, LREMC is requiring extra measures to ensure the roofing system of the building does not leak.  Once we are assured the roof isn’t leaking, interior work will resume.

 

Mold: With all the moisture in the building from the storms, we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure there is no mold in the building.  The natural dark color of the insulation (it is not the typical pink type you see in people’s homes) has led some to believe there is a mold issue.  There will be thorough testing throughout the facility to make sure there is no mold present before we take possession of the building.