Wake Forest, NC- Wake Electric has announced plans to build a new office building in downtown Wake Forest. The 28,000 square foot office building will be located on South Franklin Street, around the corner from Wake Electric’s existing Wake Forest branch office location. The general contractor for the construction project will be Macallan Construction. The cooperative anticipates the grand opening of the building to occur in summer of 2014.
The existing office was built in the 1950’s and lacks many of the basic design features needed by the cooperative today. Wake Electric is leasing the existing building.
The new building will provide better customer facilities with moderate construction costs at favorable, long-term financing. The new building also boasts many exciting design features. On the ground floor, there will be an employee and visitor entrance lobby, as well as a classroom and kitchen that replicate the ones in Wake Electric’s Youngsville office. This space will be used for employee meetings, assembly and meal functions during system emergencies, and also as a community resource.
The first floor will be similar to the existing Wake Forest branch customer service office with cashier and customer service functions. The main entrance from South Franklin Street will enter through the first floor. A large lobby and customer waiting area with a separate restroom are also proposed. A back-up energy control (dispatch) center will also be on the first floor off the lobby.
The second floor will accommodate the customer service telephone call center presently located at the Youngsville office. The purpose of the move is to increase operational efficiency by having all customer service personnel in one location, and to also free up some office space in the Youngsville location, which is essentially full at this time.
Also proposed for the second floor is an open multi-use space to be used for redundant “disaster recovery” space, in case Wake Electric ever loses the use of the Youngsville building in an emergency situation, such as a hurricane, tornado or fire. Just as designing the electric system with overlapping substation capacity in case a substation is damaged is important, the cooperative has considered the need to provide some redundancy in its office facilities. Currently, the loss of the Youngsville building would be very challenging from a business continuity perspective.
The third floor will primarily be unfinished space that will provide a relatively inexpensive solution to future office space requirements.
The office building was designed by Matt Hale of Hale Architecture in Wake Forest and the site plan was developed by Harry Mitchell of Bass, Kennedy & Nixon in Wake Forest.
Wake Electric is a non-profit electric utility serving over 37,000 members in parts of Franklin, Durham, Granville, Johnston, Vance, Nash and Wake counties. Visitwww.wemc.com for more information.