Wheatland Electric Cooperative Inc., a member-owned cooperative, has broken ground on a new 30,000-square-foot facility in Great Bend that will centralize operations in its south-central district.
Construction on the new facility that will consolidate Wheatland’s administrative and warehouse operations – now housed separately within city limits – began in mid-September and is expected to be complete by July 2021.
The new building, located at 200 10th St., will feature a customer-service area with a drive-up window to assist members with payment and other needs. The new facility will also boast an outdoor green space with working fossil-free energy sources – a wind-generator, a solar generator, and battery storage – and will be irrigated with a water recovery system.
The green park will also feature a pergola and tables and chairs for members to enjoy, and it will have an electric vehicle charging station for use by members. Once complete, Wheatland representatives will be available to discuss all facets of the green space with local students or other interested groups upon request.
The new facility will also house a mobile substation, designed for emergency and severe weather outages caused by tornadoes, ice events, and other natural disasters within Wheatland’s eastern operations. This includes District 6 (Great Bend) and District 7 (Harper, Caldwell, Norwich, Argonia, Conway Springs, South Haven, and other communities within Kingman, Harper and Sumner counties).
Wheatland Electric is working with Wichita-based GLMV Architecture during the design and development phase and Eby Construction, also from Wichita, during the construction phase. Local subcontractors include Hammeke Electric, Stone Sand Co., Comfort Pro, Inc., Golden Belt Roofing & Exteriors Inc., Jimlo Glass Center, Inc., all from Great Bend, and Joiner Construction Inc. from Ellinwood.