February 22, 2012
The Board of Water and Light’s much-anticipated $182 million natural gas-fired energy generation facility and headquarters in REO Town is now taking shape. Last week, construction crews began pouring 1,300 cubic yards of concrete at the site. The work will continue once a week through March 7, totaling 7,000 cubic yards of concrete.
The concrete will serve as the plant’s ground floor, which will encompass 67,000 square feet. Thirty-seven construction workers and 13 cement truck drivers will collectively work on the project BWL is calling, the “Big Pour.”
Though the Big Pour may be one of the first physical signs of the development, the excitement the forthcoming facility has created in REO Town has been building for some time. Several new businesses moving into the district have cited the development as a reason for their investment in the area.
“We're not surprised at all that new businesses are already planning to invest in REO Town,” says BWL’s Mark Nixon. “When you have 180 BWL employees working every day in REO Town, it's bound to spark investment by retailers and others.”
The visible signs of progress on the project will only increase after the Big Pour. Within two weeks, the first steel girders that will support the 7-story cogeneration plant will go up.
“Once steel begins going up,” says Nixon, “people in REO Town – and from a fair distance – will be able to see our future literally taking shape.”