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Okaloosa Gas District breaks ground on new headquarters in Valparaiso

Okaloosa Gas District celebrated the groundbreaking of their new headquarters on March 5 in Valparaiso, Florida.  The new headquarters, located at the entrance to Valparaiso on Government Ave. and Valparaiso […]

Source: Okaloosa Gas

Okaloosa Gas District celebrated the groundbreaking of their new headquarters on March 5 in Valparaiso, Florida. 

  • The modern campus will replace the utility’s existing 70-year-old buildings, consolidating team members into one location and providing much-needed upgrades to improve safety, efficiency, and productivity.

The new headquarters, located at the entrance to Valparaiso on Government Ave. and Valparaiso Parkway, is a result of a 2020 Engineering Study conducted by Okaloosa Gas.

The study revealed several challenges with the current facilities, including storm damage repairs, outdated hurricane and tropical weather standards, unhealthy conditions for employees, and estimated remodeling costs that rivaled the expense of constructing new, modernized buildings.

According to Okaloosa Gas, the challenges with the 70-year-old buildings center around the safety and functionality of the buildings. None of the District’s buildings meet today’s health and standard codes, not to mention wind mitigation standards for tropical storms and hurricanes.

  • The District now employs over 200 people covering 2,300 square miles of service territory. And currently, the District’s employees are out of space, which is decreasing production efficiencies.
Source: Okaloosa Gas

The project includes a four-story, 152,000-square-foot office building, an 18,400-square-foot operations center, a 7,200-square-foot vehicle maintenance building, and a 23,540-square-foot warehouse. 

  • The campus will feature the latest advancements in building technology, utilizing tilt wall construction, brick, and steel.

“Plans are moving forward and we are excited to get this project underway, and some groundwork has already begun,” said Gordon King, Okaloosa Gas District CEO. “We look forward to our ongoing partnership with the community as we continue to grow.”

Okaloosa Gas states that consolidating team members into one location will foster teamwork and servant leadership, improving efficiency and productivity. The natural gas provider said that when office and administration personnel that 100% support the customers and field employees of the District are separated from each other, efficient communication and accurate information are minimized, and timely customer response fails.

The new facilities will also include meeting spaces available for community events, benefiting local organizations such as the Niceville/VALP Chamber. The event space has been designed and will be built to fulfill the needs of the District. 

  • Okaloosa Gas will make the Conference Room available for public meetings on both a community donation-based event or a fee-based rental system event depending on the purpose of the event.

Energy-efficient features, centered around clean-burning natural gas, will be incorporated into the new buildings. The campus will utilize Combined Heat and Power, Tankless Water Heaters, and Natural Gas Fired Heat Pumps, minimizing carbon emissions and allowing the entire campus to operate independently of the grid when needed. 

According to Okaloosa Gas, natural gas is the cleanest burning fuel source that is not labeled as a renewable source of energy. The uniqueness of the energy-producing equipment that will be used on the campus allows for the use of condensing features that use the remnants of the fuel burn off as added energy sources to minimize the production of carbon emissions.

Source: Okaloosa Gas

The project, funded through low-interest bonds, is designed to accommodate future growth and expansion of Okaloosa Gas District’s services. The headquarters has been designed for lease space today and additional space for Okaloosa Gas in the future.

  • The District has designed the building for future company needs while allowing for the opportunity of the community to have a “Class A” facility to lease to fulfill their company needs.

The construction process will be managed to minimize disruptions to the surrounding area, with outdoor work limited to daylight hours. One of the driving factors of a new campus site will allow for the new facilities to be built without interrupting day-to-day work requirements of the District.

  • The open concept architectural design incorporates natural light to create a comfortable and mentally sound work environment for employees, according to Okaloosa Gas. The administration building will feature an open-air atrium connecting each floor, supported by stair and elevator facilities.

Okaloosa Gas leadership describes the feeling of breaking ground on the project as much needed and long overdue. Progress and a positive step forward for Okaloosa Gas, the employees of the company, the customers, and the community supported by the District are all beneficiaries of the new project and future home of Okaloosa Gas.

The new headquarters is scheduled for completion in 2025, with Robins & Morton serving as the general contractor and DAG Architects as the architect. The location was chosen primarily for the availability of land and the importance of remaining in the city that has been home to Okaloosa Gas District’s headquarters for the past 70 years.

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“Would like to know this as well.”
“This is Awesome/ Thank You for Your Service Reuse an Recycle”
“Carolyn, there is two of them this year, the one at the fairgrounds is still on the 27th”
“I thought this was scheduled for April 27th at Fair grounds in FWB.”
“Is there a limit on the amount?”
“Couldn’t the tennis courts be used for Pickle Ball Courts?”
“How come we haven't heard about any charges or anything about the person who hit this lady ?”
“Stayed at the Calypso resort last week. Overran with immaturity. Teens were throwing beer bottles from the balcony and dog shit while kids were swimming in the pools below.”