Dennis Neeland, operation manager at Great Bend Co-op, spoke Tuesday with The Tribune about a new elevator the company is building at Boyd, west of Hoisington.
In the 1970s, Great Bend Co-op purchased elevators at Boyd and Dense Spur, respectively located west and south of Hoisington. While a small concrete building still stands, the Dense Spur elevator, located just north of the television tower on U.S. 281, was torn down years ago. The Boyd operation, consisting of an old wooden elevator and three steel tanks, finally reached the end of its usefulness earlier this year.
Passersby might recognize Boyd as the location where the old two-story limestone Boyd hotel, long abandoned like an ancient movie set. Two old-fashioned glass gas tanks and a hand water pump are visible out front near the edge of NW 40 Ave and NW 100 Rd west of Hoisington.
The wooden elevator was demolished, and in its place a new facility with two 190,000 bushel concrete bins will be built. The company will also install a 15,000 bushel per hour leg to elevate the grain to the bins, Neeland said. This will be similar to projects completed in Ellinwood, Pawnee Rock and Seward.
The elevators will serve patrons within a 12 to 15 mile radius of the new elevator, relieving some of the pressure on the Great Bend elevator. A new office and scale will be built also, Neeland said.
This week, work began on the dump pit and boot pit, with concrete forms being built and poured. Progress will become apparent early in January, depending on the weather, when the bins will begin to be erected. Construction will take an estimated six to eight weeks per bin. The facility should be operational in time for the 2014 wheat harvest.
When all is said and done, the company will likely add an additional employee to the two already assigned to the Boyd elevator, Neeland said.