The Intermountain Rural Electric Association opened its new facility in the town of Bennett Dec. 17 with a small ribbon-cutting ceremony. Guests included members of IREAâ€™s board of directors, CEO and staff; Tyler Nunn, President of Nunn Construction; and Royce Pindell, Mayor of Bennett.
â€śWe are excited and welcome the opening of the new Intermountain Rural Electric Association (IREA) facility in the Town of Bennett,â€ť said Bennett Mayor Royce Pindell. â€śWe are grateful for the partnership and investment in our community.â€ť
The 60,000-square-foot facility sits on a 14-acre campus located near the Highway 79/Bennett exit off Interstate 70. It will serve the easternmost portion of IREAâ€™s service territory, which covers 1,100 square miles and nearly 8,000 customers and includes the towns of Bennett, Strasburg, Byers, Deer Trail and Kiowa, as well as other parts of Adams, Arapahoe and Elbert counties.
â€śIREA serves communities in Adams, Arapahoe and Elbert counties, all of which are growing rapidly,â€ť IREA Board President Tim White said. â€śOur new Bennett facility will help us better serve those communities.â€ť
The new facility replaces IREAâ€™s previous facilities in Strasburg, which were too small and split between parcels several blocks apart. It will also house IREAâ€™s backup control center and newest mobile substation.
â€śThis facility improves our eastern operations in every way and will benefit all of IREA with its backup, storage and training capabilities,â€ť CEO Patrick Mooney said. â€śWe are pleased with the convenience of the site and happy to be in Bennett, near important solar and transmission facilities.â€ť
The facility went from groundbreaking to completion in less than a year. Materials used to build the facilities and campus included:
â€˘ 227 tons of structural steel;
â€˘ 3,505 cubic yards of concrete with 203 tons of reinforcing;
â€˘ 46,000 linear feet of studs;
â€˘ 315,859 feet (60 miles) of electrical wire;
â€˘ 20,000 concrete masonry units;
â€˘ 50,000 bricks; and
â€˘ 25,000 cubic yards of dirt cut to fill the jobsite.
The lobby at IREAâ€™s new Bennett facility is currently closed to the public to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Payments can be made through the drop box outside the facility, at 1092 Cedar St., starting Jan. 18. Payments can also be left in the drop box at the Strasburg office, 1497 Main St., through Jan. 22. A collection bin outside the new Bennett facility is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday â€“ excluding Christmas and New Yearâ€™s days â€“ for string lights customers would like to recycle as part of IREAâ€™s holiday lights recycling program.