Improving Service. Accommodating Growth.
Winter in Minnesota is notorious for snow and ice, neither of which are good for the high-tech fleet of Rochester Public Utilities (RPU). Providing secure, temperature-controlled space for the utilities’ 60+ fleet was the main goal of this recent expansion and addition. The new 27,000SF garage expansion is complimented by a 12,000SF office addition. Both are designed to improve the employee experience while elevating customer service.
The largest municipal utility in Minnesota, RPU provides electricity and water for more than 40,000 customers. Regional growth sparked growth for RPU. With 170 full-time employees and counting, the utility had outgrown its existing mid-1990s facility. The addition provides a streamlined, modern visual break from the non-descript white original, using precast and metal panels to introduce texture and variation. The new employee entrance is welcoming and reflects the utility’s brand. A landscaped patio is accessible via the new daylit breakroom. Natural light and clean, clear workspaces were important design criteria. As a result, clearstory windows line the exterior plus windows were added to every high-speed coiling garage door. The formerly dark and dingy garage and specialty shop areas are now light and bright. An on-site training room, complete with two utility poles for climbing exercises, new striping and clear sightlines across the entire garage support RPU’s core value of safety.
Open in Spring 2019 , the expanded RPU facility not only protects the utility’s sophisticated fleet, it also reflects their core values by providing workspaces grounded in wellbeing.