Photo special to Alachua County Today
City of Alachua elected officials and staff were joined be representatives from the construction and architect firms in turning the soil marking the official start of the project. L-R: Assistant City Manager Adam Boukari, City Manager Traci Gresham, Commissioner Gary Hardacre, Commissioner Ben Boukari, Jr., Vice Mayor Robert Wilford, Mayor Gib Coerper, Commissioner Shirley Green Brown, Concept Construction President Brian Crawford and Walker Architects Senior Designer Joe Walker.
ALACHUA – Construction began in August to ultimately combine the City of Alachua’s five public services divisions under one roof. Different divisions are currently housed separately, but often need to interact and communicate with each other directly.
When the new Alachua Public Services Operations Center is completed in July 2017, the facility will allow the divisions to be more efficient and provide a good home base for field personnel, say City administrators.
More than 30 personnel from the Water, Electric, Meter Reading, Facilities and Public Works Divisions will be housed in the facilities section, while main parts and infrastructure items will be located in the warehouse.
“We discussed this in our strategic planning meetings, and it's great to see it finally come to fruition,” said Alachua Mayor Gib Coerper. “They will have the materials, vehicles and equipment they need in one place, which should streamline their work considerably,” he said.
City Manager Traci Gresham agrees. “The facility is a great opportunity for the City to consolidate several operational locations that will encourage collaboration and realize operational efficiencies.”
The building, which will cost $4,026,911, is being built by Concept Construction, a Gainesville area builder. Walker Architects, another area business, designed the building.
“The new building will also be the primary facility for storm or disaster response for the City,” said Assistant City Manager Adam Boukari. “The city has in place very good response plans for storms or natural disasters. This facility will allow us to improve upon the plan and facilitate a more efficient response,” he said.
A Groundbreaking Ceremony took place on Thursday, Aug. 25, at the facility location, 13144 N.W. 104th Terrace, just off of U.S. Highway 441, in Alachua.
Mayor Gib Coerper, Alachua City Manager Traci Gresham, Boukari and Alachua City Commissioners were on hand to welcome various business leaders, members of area Chambers of Commerce, design and construction team members and interested members of the public.
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