Building a one-stop shop
Alcoa, Tenn., is building a new service center complex to house its fleet management garage, parts warehouse and the Electric and Public Works departments. The 88,000-square-foot facility will combine all equipment maintenance services and storage into one building.
Alcoa, a city of 9,000 residents, was founded in 1919 by the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa). The city operates a water utility and a power utility, each with about 30,000 customers in the region, and it owns 350 vehicles, including the equipment for its professional fire department and 35 police cruisers. It also maintains an equipment inventory of 5,000 different items.
For years, Alcoa’s Public Works Department and its Electric Department have worked out of aging buildings totaling less than 25,000 square feet. A garage and a small basement housed the Support Services Department, which is responsible for fleet maintenance. Additionally, the city’s equipment inventory was stored in multiple locations. Last year, the city decided to put them all into one new complex.
The city broke ground on the facility in May. Public Works and the Electric Department will use a little more than half of the new building. Support Services will occupy about 45,000 square feet, which will include a 32,000-square-foot warehouse to accommodate the combined parts inventories of Public Works, the Electric Department, Water Department and Fleets.
To manage the inventory, the city is expanding its use of maintenance management software from Burlington, N.J.-based Arsenault Associates that has been used to track work orders, labor and documents, and manage the fleet maintenance parts inventory since 2001. Separate parts inventories will be organized under more than one account in the software, and departments can access their own parts accounts. The parts also can be viewed in sum for overall accounting, reordering and reporting. “In the new building, Support Services will be doubling the number of parts items we’ll be responsible for, and it will do so at a savings for the city,” says Steve Hillis, support services manager.
The combined warehouse, scheduled for completion this spring, requires no additional cost for software and no additional people to operate. “In effect, it will provide a return on investment without the investment,” Hillis says.
Project: Maintenance and storage facility construction
Jurisdiction: Alcoa, Tenn.
Agency: Support Services
Vendor: Burlington, N.J.-based Arsenault Associates
Date: Spring 2008
Cost: $14.5 million