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MED addition nearing completion

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MASSENA — The $2 million, 4,500-square-foot addition at the Massena Electric Department is nearing completion and should be open to the public by the end of the month.

“We’re planning to finish construction in January and should be operational in the new office space by the latter part of January,” MED Superintendent Andrew J. McMahon said.

Mr. McMahon said the new addition will house MED’s conference room, offices and public areas.

“Our traditional front office operations, mainly customer service and billing, will be housed in the new addition,” he said. “Field operations will be staying in there, once we do some renovations to the old building.”

Project Clerk Reginald D. Cross said work on the addition began in July and will be completed by the end of the month. At that time, Mr. Cross said, renovations will begin to the old building.

That work, he said, should be completed by May.

While the project does carry a $2 million price tag, Mr. McMahon said he wanted to ensure MED customers that their rates will not be adversely affected by the project, which was paid for through a capital reserve fund.

“It’s not going to impact rates,” he said. “We’re not changing the rates as a result of this.”

In addition to the new wing, the project includes a geothermal HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system that will both cool and heat the building using water that is pumped underground to either warm it up in the winter or cool it down in the summer.

“We think the geothermal system will pay itself back in seven to eight years,” Mr. McMahon said.

Mr. Cross said the system includes 17 wells located behind the building that are each 265 feet deep.

Mr. McMahon said the new heating and cooling system will be about 25 percent more efficient than the building’s current system.

“Our energy usage, even with the new building, will be about the same as it was before,” he said. “It’s a much more efficient heating system.”

Mr. Cross also noted the new system includes heated floors.

“It’s a dual system,” he said, explaining the heated floors will bring the rooms up to a certain temperature, but if additional heat is desired, heat may also be blown in through vents in the ceiling.

The design of the new addition will also help increase security for the office, with a bank style design, versus the open office it has now.

“We’re happy for the additional security for the staff. We think the access for customers will be better and safer,” Mr. McMahon said. “There’s a lot of positives about the new building.”

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