After being under construction for a little more than three years, the Chelan County Public Utility District's (PUD) new campus and headquarters at 203 Olds Station Road is now open to the public.

"It's really an historical moment," says the PUD's General Manager, Kirk Hudson. "There's been a lot that's gone into this. There really was a lot of thinking that happened along the way. This has been in the works since 2018, including the planning, the design, and the construction. It really is an exciting day."

Hudson says in addition to giving the utility's staff and commissioners a more efficient workspace, much of the the new building was designed to better serve its customer owners.

"This facility really recognizes just how important our customers are to us. When they walk in they'll now have a completely different feel and we're set up so that we can serve them much better. They'll be able to park - we now have plenty of parking - and they can walk right into the building and get what they need. We'll bring our employees right to them for assistance."

Hudson adds that for as much as the PUD's new headquarters deserve the ballyhooing, the utility hasn't forgotten about what will become of its former home.

"That's been a subject that's near and dear to our heart - to make sure that space ends up being a good thing for the community. We're still in negotiations with the YMCA for the back portion of the property. We're also working with the folks at Music Theater of Wenatchee to see if we can accommodate parking for their facility as well. Those have really been our top two priorities, to nail down those two pieces of the property for those great community organizations. After we get that accomplished, we'll see what we can do to get the Wenatchee Avenue side of the property used in a positive way for the community - one that's in line with the vision of the studies that we conducted that the community participated in."

A handful of employees will still be working at the old PUD campus at 327 North Wenatchee Avenue for a few more weeks, and customers can still use the payment drop box at that location until the middle of the month (October).

The PUD broke ground on its new headquarters in August of 2020 and ran into several unforeseen site and construction issues along the way, including the discovery of cultural artifacts and cost-of-materials increases during the pandemic.

The building was originally projected to cost $139 million but ended up with an approximate total price tag of $165 million.

A public open house will be held at the new facility this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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