Spokane Journal of Business

Avista plans to construct new building for its fleet

Work to start in July on structure on its campus

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Avista Corp. soon will begin construction of a 30,000-square-foot building on the northernmost portion of its campus that will replace a 70-year-old, 12,000-square-foot maintenance facility located next to the company’s headquarters.

The new, two-story structure will be used mostly as a service garage for a local portion of the company’s fleet of 1,300 vehicles and will be equipped with a car wash for maintenance workers to clean company vehicles.Vehicles range in size from sedans and passenger-size truck to line trucks and tractor trailers, says Avista spokesman David Vowels.

Slightly more than 21,000 square feet of floor space in the building will be dedicated to garage space for vehicle repairs, and 7,500 square feet will be used for the car wash, while 1,000 square feet will serve as conference and break room space, according to the commercial permit application Avista submitted to the city of Spokane.

The permit lists the cost of the project at $3.2 million, but Vowels says the final cost has yet to be determined. Avista is located at 1411 E. Mission.

Spokane-based Bernardo|Wills Architects PC is the project architect. Vowels says the project has yet to go out for contractor bidding.

“We’re expecting to begin construction in early July and have it finished by February next year,” Vowels says. 

The current maintenance building has been expanded twice, once in 1978 and the other in 1999.

Vowels says the current maintenance building is cramped and has an inefficient layout.

“Today, we have more vehicles, and the vehicles made today are getting bigger,” he says.

“What’s going to make this building valuable is that it will have drive-thru capabilities, which means drivers don’t have to back up, making for a safer environment for employees,” he adds.

The current maintenance building will be torn down once the new facility is completed. 

Vowels says Avista has yet to decide what it will do with the property that will become available for future use after the current maintenance building is demolished.

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