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New Inland Power and Light building to feature alternative energy generation

Fri., June 5, 2009, midnight

Plugging into powerful future

Inland Power and Light Co. is putting power and light into its new West Plains headquarters.

Monday, outside the 26,000- square-foot wood and brick building on West Hallett Road, workers were preparing to pour a pad for a 40-foot-tall windmill. Another pad for a planned solar panel array is nearby.

Project Manager John Francisco said the installations, and a battery package, will allow Inland customers curious about alternative energy’s potential as resources for homes and small business to see how they work, and how they might change the way they get energy.

They are also part of the utility’s effort to earn the building a “gold” Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design designation for minimizing energy used during construction and throughout its expected 50-year use, he said.

The present, 21,000-square-foot headquarters on East Second Avenue was built in 1954, Francisco noted, when Inland had 5,000 members. There are 38,000 now.

All duct work and electrical conduits are inside a raised floor composed of 2-foot concrete panels that can be unscrewed anywhere for easy access.

Heating and air-conditioning defusers in the floor can be relocated as furniture configurations change, and there is natural light in 93 percent of the building.

An expanded warehouse and new fleet-maintenance building are clustered behind the administration building on the 21-acre site, further enhancing efficiency, Francisco said.

Inland General Manager Kris Mikkelsen declined to reveal the cost pending notification of members, but noted the project will come in under budget.

“It’s been a great time to build,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a great value.”

Completion is expected in the fall, Francisco said, noting one other advantage the new location will give the electric cooperative: “No more Avista bills.”

Two new tenants at industrial park

The tourism industry isn’t hurting too bad, at least based on the expansion by Certified Folder Display Service Inc. into a larger building at the Spokane Business and Industrial Park.

Certified Folder Display, a privately held San Diego company, produces 300 million annual travel brochures and tourist guides offered free in hotels and motels, visitor centers, restaurants and airport racks across the West. The company’s Spokane office expanded from a previous area site to a 4,020-square- foot space in the Spokane Business and Industrial Park, 3808 N. Sullivan Road in Spokane Valley.

Its three-employee Spokane center handles thousands of brochures monthly for about 500 Eastern Washington and 480 Idaho locations.

The company was founded in 1899 in San Francisco as The Peck-Judah Co. It has 20 offices across the Western region and 150 distribution centers.

A second company also newly moving into the industrial park is AJ Distribution Inc., a regional distributor of caskets.

The company is leasing 4,800 square feet in Building 2 at the industrial park.

Get a peak at Liberty Lake cottages

The public this weekend can check out the first few cottage homes built as part of the Rocky Hill Cottages development in Liberty Lake.

The first five homes are finished and four more are under construction. The developer, Greenstone, plans 40 in all.

The cottages range in price from $179,000 to $210,000.

With five layouts to choose from, the cottages range in size from 1,334 square feet to 2,155 square feet. Three have two bedrooms; two have three bedrooms.

All include 2-car garages. They’re built to Energy Star and Built Green specifications.

Information: or (509) 879-8622.

Staff writers Tom Sowa and Scott Maben contributed to this report. Here’s the Dirt is a weekly report on new developments and business openings, closings or movement in the Inland Northwest. E-mail or call (509) 459-5528.

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