Safety first

New AEP site is scheduled for completion within two months.

Though the project started out behind, the crew has worked both hard and safe, and the building is starting to come together.

The site will provide a centrally located office for AEP workers currently scattered between New Boston and Portsmouth.

American Electric Power’s (AEP) new service center, being constructed at the Warren P. Blazer Memorial Industrial Park on Fairground Road in Lucasville, is scheduled to be completed before the end of summer. With more than 30,000 man hours, the crew including all seven subcontractors have yet to have a single injury, an accomplishment they celebrated Thursday.

Site Manager Don Hadsell with J&H Erectors explained that for the entire crew to work that safely is rare.

“There’s usually people getting a scratch or cut, especially when you’re working with metal roof, using heavy machinery and pouring concrete,” Hadsell stated.

Safe labor means cost efficient labor, saving in workers compensation as well as allowing men to work quickly without having men down due to an accident.

Tri-State Building and Construction Trades Council is the umbrella group representing all trades groups involved in the project. Mark Johnson with the Council explained the Tri-State Building Trades includes a 33 county area.

“AEP has been one of the best customers that the Tri-State Buidling Trades has period,” he stated. “American Electric Power went out of its way to make sure this building was built with local people.”

Johnson added that even the contractors are from Portsmouth.

The 50,000 square foot building, costing $10 million, will replace the current building in Portsmouth. The Portsmouth location no longer serves the needs of the company, who has also had to locate offices in New Boston. With the new structure, all offices will be centrally located and all jobs with be saved. Johnson added that the location is perfect being so near the new bypass.

Tom Householder with AEP explained that the company is dedicated to doing great things in the region and tries to always partner with the community.

“We’ve proven time and time again that Southern Ohio is a very viable place to be,” he stated as he promised future investments.

He concluded by stating that AEP uses Tri-State Building Trades because they are the safest, most productive and best labor there is.

The new building started four months ago and was already behind schedule as a result of building permit delays. When they finish in August, they will have finished ahead of schedule.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1931.