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02/19/2013 ~ Keys Energy Services (KEYS) recently broke ground on what will be a new, category-five hurricane rated building to house the Transmission & Distribution (T&D) department. The Utility Board recently approved the construction of the facility by Biltmore Construction Company for a guaranteed maximum price of $3.4-million. The building was designed by Bender & Associates and the completed structure, at KEYS’ Stock Island Generating Facility, is slated to be complete by December 2013.

During the groundbreaking ceremony, KEYS’ General Manager & CEO Lynne Tejeda said, “for years the T&D department has functioned out of different locations and for a department where teamwork is of the utmost importance it has always been a goal to reunite these employees that function as a team in the field under the same roof as they start and end their day.” The T&D department comprises linemen, electricians, and tree trimmers.

Utility Board Chairman Lou Hernandez went on to add that, “this structure will be the first of our buildings to be able to withstand a category-five hurricane. While we are working to harden our system against such storms, we will also now have a structure that will stand up to the elements and be able to act as a safe haven for our employees, as well as the technology that we depend on to service our customers.” The new T&D building will house a backup for the computer system that controls the local electric grid and will serve as a backup operations center should KEYS’ Service Building in Key West be compromised.

Tejeda went on to add that, “construction projects are never easy, but KEYS has done everything within its power to make sure this project will proceed as smoothly as possible.”

PHOTO CAPTION: (From left) KEYS’ Fleets & Facilities Supervisor Walter Cashwell; Utility Board Member Barry Barroso; Utility Board Chairman Lou Hernandez; Utility Board Member Mona C. Clark; and T&D department Director David Price break ground on what will be the new T&D department building. In the background is the existing T&D building that will be renovated and incorporated into the new structure.

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