A groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the expansion of the Great Lakes Energy headquarters was held Wednesday, September 23, in Boyne City. Last spring GLE purchased adjacent property, formerly a Carter’s Food Center, to accommodate the building expansion.
Joining the electric cooperative’s board of directors, managers, and employees were distinguished guests, including Rural Utilities Services (RUS) Representative Pat Sarver, USDA State Director Jason Allen, and mayor of Boyne City Tom Neidhamer. Other local officials as well as representatives from Clark Construction and White & Liebler Architects also attended.
“This is a historic day for our cooperative and our employees. It symbolizes much more than the brick and mortar that go into the actual building itself.” Bill Scott states. “This building symbolizes growth, prosperity, and dedication to the community. It will take us into the future as we continue to serve our members with pride.”
The new expansion will provide much-needed infrastructure and space for the growth the electric cooperative has experienced in recent years. Truestream, GLE’s new fiber internet and voice network, plays a vital role in the need to expand. Launched in 2018 in rural parts of Emmet, Charlevoix, and Cheboygan counties, Truestream brings high-speed internet, with speeds up to 1 Gig, and voice services to homes and businesses that have long been without broadband connectivity. Truestream has created local employment opportunities and with it a need for more office and warehouse space.
The plans include the addition of offices and operations vehicle storage as well as minor remodeling to the existing headquarters building. The first phase of the building addition will be constructed on the north side of the existing GLE headquarters and will house the utility’s operations staff, equipment and vehicles. The second building addition will be constructed to the west, in the former Carter’s building footprint, and will house GLE’s 24/7 dispatch center as well as staff offices. The current headquarters building will sustain some remodeling to accommodate the growing utility workforce and Truestream internet network operations center and staff. The anticipated completion of the new facility is late 2021.