Central likely to start $2 million project in April
Addition, steel building bid for local office
If Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation District board members select a contractor next Monday, work is likely to begin this month on a $2 million addition to the Gothenburg office.
Bids were opened at district headquarters, in Holdrege, last Thursday.Four qualified bids were received, said electrical engineer Devin Brundage of Gothenburg.
Because the 46 employees at the Gothenburg office have outgrown the space available and because of changes in federal security regulations, Brundage said the expansion project consists of three phases.
“It’s a neat project for us,” he said, noting that the control room was remodeled last summer and a storage shop added in 1999.
However Brundage said not much has been done to the building since it was built in 1972.
During phase one, 9,000 square feet, in the form of a block building, will be added onto the west end of the existing building.
The area will house a metal fabrication shop, an area for welding and mechanical work, maintenance and wood shop and a wash bay.
A 10,400 square-foot steel building will be erected to store equipment and materials.
Nearly the entire perimeter of the building will be paved and gated and an auxiliary entrance added to the west end of the addition.
“That will improve drainage and access to the building,” Brundage said.
Phase two involves the relocation of the metal and maintenance shops, from the current building, into the addition.
Brundage said 80% of the space will house supplies for the district with the remaining 20% for five new offices for the canal superintendent, biologist and for the land resources and special projects employees plus a warehouse office.
The electricians and technicians from Central’s office, at Canaday Steam plant near Lexington, will be based out of Gothenburg, he said.
A break room and a four-employee office, in the existing building, will be remodeled into a conference room during phase three construction.
The conference room will be updated technologically with electronic white boards, a projector and other equipment.
Brundage said employees now gather at a local restaurant or the Senior Center for safety and other meetings.
“Having the capability for video conferencing will make more efficient use of employee time,” he said, noting that drive time to Holdrege for meetings involves two hours round-trip.
In addition, the reception area will be remodeled and updated.
The engineer said they anticipate an 18-month project. If work is started yet this month, it could be done by the end of next summer.
“We’re excited,” Brundage said about the project. “Over the years, we’ve slowly become more cramped as we take on more responsibility.”
Gothenburg’s office monitors and controls four hydroplants which is why control room access was secured and the area remodeled for $40,000 last summer.
Central provides irrigation delivery service to customers in south-central Nebraska and generates electrical power at its Kingsley, Jeffrey, Johnson No. 1 and Johnson No. 2 hydroplants.
In addition to the hydroplants, Gothenburg’s control center maintains remote supervisory control over Nebraska Public Power District’s Keystone Dam and supply canal head gates, control structures on Central’s supply canal, the head gates of main irrigation canals and control structures on the E65 and Phelps irrigation systems.