Sunday, June 01, 2014

TOP STORY >> Entergy builds service facility

Entergy Arkansas opened its new $6.2 million building at 7801 John Harden Drive in Jacksonville on Wednesday afternoon with a wire-cutting ceremony and public tours.

Twenty-three employees will work out of the 17,000-square-foot facility on 30 acres.

The office will help the utility provide service to approximately 26,000 customers in Jacksonville, Little Rock Air Force Base, Cabot, Sherwood, Scott and parts of North Little Rock.

Entergy President and Chief Executive Officer Hugh McDonald welcomed visitors, including Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher, Cabot Mayor Bill Cypert and Sherwood Alderman Ken Keplinger, on Wednesday before cutting a cable to officially open the facility.

McDonald said in a news release, “Entergy Arkansas turned 100 years old in December, and, during a good part of that century, the histories of Entergy Arkansas and Jacksonville have been intertwined.

He continued in the news release, “We’re proud to be a part of Jacksonville, and we want you to know that this new service center represents a long-term commitment to this community as we begin our second century of providing electric service in Arkansas.”

Fletcher said, “It’s always good seeing something of that caliber built in your city. I’m very appreciative of Entergy and its commitment to the community.”

He noted that the new office is organized to be even more responsive to customers.

The move from 2001 Marshall Road in Jacksonville began in October 2013, according to the release.

Jay Hartman, Entergy’s manager of customer relations, explained that the move from the old building boosted morale. Hartman cut the cable a second time for the grand opening.

The new location is larger and much more efficient, he continued. According to the release, the Green Building Initiative has certified it with two Green Globes. That means the facility meets rigorous efficiency standards for how it was built and how it operates, the release continued.

The building features an indoor bay for mechanics to work on vehicles and conference rooms. Neither was available at the Marshall Road location, Hartman said.

And the break room there doubles as a safe room with concrete walls designed to withstand severe weather.

Hartman said, “We’re definitely excited about the new building and are looking forward to being there serving that area.”

The facility has a Cabot mailing address but is located within the commercial corridor Jacksonville annexed a few years ago.