New Facility

The News Herald-Lenoir City Utilities Board hopes to move a step closer to a system overhaul, both structurally and technologically. The board has hired McCarty Holsaple McCartney Architects & Interior Designs to compleat a needs assessment analysis for constructing new LCUB facilities.

General manager Shannon Littleton said following a board meeting Monday that he believes an infrastructure upgrade must compliment upcoming technological advances.

"It would be all facilities. It would be our administrative offices, and that is probably yet to determine all of it. I know our main administrated offices are dilapidated," he said. Obviously, our water plant and sewer plant aren't going anywhere. We can't move it. It's going to be intact so everything else, operations, are going to be moved.

During a needs assessment progress report at the meeting, David Collins of McCarty Holsaple McCartney estimated LCUB should consider 85,000 square feet of space for all offices.

Littleton said he is pleased with the assessment, saying an upgrade in facilities is much needed. He said the main office was built in 1954.

There are many aspects. One is we are simply out of room. We have added very few employees over the past few years, and they are sitting in the hallways, literally sitting in the hallways", Littleton said, adding upcoming new technology does not compliment the space in current facilities.

"Everyone here that's been at the LCUB current facilities (know) they're worn out. They're old," Littleton said. "They're inadequate, and to move this utility forward with the things we want to do, I know the things the board wants to do, especially in service to our customers, the new technologies we want to partake in and provide to our customers as well. The facility we are in it's inadequate.

"We're not being responsible if we don't look years down the road" Lenoir City Mayor and LCUB chairman Tony Aikens said.

Littleton said the facility should move forward this calendar year.

"When we finish this study entirely and decide what the design of the building would look or how large of a footprint it would be then we would locate a parcel of property to build a building on and then we would go to design. I'm hoping all of that will happen this year, this calendar year" he said.