Guam- Ground was broken today [Wednesday] on a new building that will house the Guam Power Authority (GPA) and the Guam Waterworks Authority (GWA) all under one roof and save $600 thousand dollars in operating expenses annually.
The facility will be also named after the late Gloria Nelson, who served as a long standing member of the Consolidated Commission on Utilities (CCU).
Come November 2014, the GPA & GWA will be consolidated into a new three story LEED certified building off Route 15 or the back road to Andersen Air Force Base. A special ground breaking ceremony was held in Fadian, Mangilao this morning where the new GPA-GWA Multipurpose Facility will be constructed by Core Tech International.
GPA General Manager Kin Flores and GWA General Manager Martin Rousch say being together under one roof will increase operational efficiencies and improve customer service.
“A good example is the engineering departments will be together,” said Rousch. “There will be a lot of mentorship. A lot of shared understanding about system planning and it’ll just make everyone better.”
PNC also asked if the new Mangilao location would be a challenge for customers to drive there. Flores says they plan to promote conducting business and services online for rate payers.
“What we’d like to do is we try to make them provide more conveniences, not less,” said Flores. “But should you need to come here, it provides a very nice facility for you to conduct your business. In addition, Mangilao, this area was envisioned as concentrated to be developed soon, where the density, the population would grow eventually over time.”
He mentions it will be a centralized facility for Dededo, Yigo and Mangilao. Rousch adds GWA customer service facilities will still be at different locations to make it convenient for their customers.
CCU Chairman Simon Sanchez also says the design of the $26 million dollar facility is something that should be noted. The building will be energy efficient, house the latest technology in lighting and will cover over 116,000 square feet of space to fit up to 364 employees. He also says naming it the Gloria B. Nelson Public Service Facility, instead of a multipurpose facility, ensures her legacy of serving the community lives on.
“It’s $30 million dollars worth of economic development that is going to occur over the next 18 months, which will be good,” said Sanchez. “We think it’s a win-win. But I think most importantly, every day we will be reminded about Lola Nelson. We named this building after Gloria. We’re going to call it the Public Service Facility because Lola reminded us everyday that we’re there to serve the public.”
Former Senator Ted Nelson, the husband of the late Gloria Nelson, says he’s touched the facility will be named in honor of her memory.
“I’m pretty sure she’s looking down at us and we the family, certainly feel she deserves such recognition,” said Nelson. “She was a person always caring, always on the move, even though she was sick. I couldn’t keep up with her, although she was dying of cancer for 12 years.”
Their daughter, Gwen Nelson Taimanglo, also thanks everyone for giving her mom and their family this proud moment.
“From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for honoring our mom,” said Taimanglo. “Thank you for what you do for our island and God bless us all.”
READ the release from GPA/GWA below:
GROUNDBREAKING SIGNALS A BRIGHTER FUTURE
(Wednesday, July 10, 2013) Mangilao, Guam – The Consolidated Commission on Utilities, and Guam Power Authority today broke ground on the new Gloria B. Nelson GPA-GWA Multipurpose Facility.
This new building will incorporate both GPA and GWA into one consolidated office and will increase operational efficiencies to provide an improved customer experience. The building is named after the late Gloria B. Nelson, a dedicated community advocate, leader, and former CCU Secretary, who passed away last year. CCU Chairman Simon Sanchez said, “Gloria was an amazing and compassionate leader. She contributed much of her time and energy to the CCU and other community endeavors. This facility will ensure that her legacy of community involvement lives on.”
The three-story high building situated off of Route 15 (the back road to Andersen) will cover 116,567 square feet, to accommodate over 364 employees. Built on a sustainable site, it will optimize energy efficiency and water utilization. The building will house the latest technology in lighting and cooling using LED lighting, compact fluorescents, and an innovative AC chiller system. The indoor environmental quality will be enhanced through low emitting materials for paints and flooring and increased ventilation. The building will be LEED Certified Silver and a model of sustainable operating efficiency. It will also provide synergy between technical and administrative groups, such as the Engineering and Information Technology components of GPA, by housing them under the same roof. The new building will also house the Power System Control Center (PSCC), the backbone of communications and system operations for GPA. Additionally, ample parking will be provided for both customers and employees.
The cost of construction is currently $26,458,970. Construction is estimated to be completed in November 2014. Overall, the facility will save GPA more than $600,000 in operating expenses annually through improved efficiencies and the elimination of the rent GPA currently pays for its headquarters in Harmon. The construction of the Gloria B. Nelson GPA-GWA Multipurpose Facility is an important step forward in the CCU’s commitment to improving service for customers at affordable rates.