Town energy department moves

A. J. Molnar, vice president of Southeastern Consulting Engineers Inc., replaces the electrical components in a communications rack inside the warehouse space of the Front Royal Energy Department's new home at 1101 Manassas Ave. on Tuesday. Molnar was transferring equipment that monitors the town's electrical substations to its new space. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – The town’s Department of Energy Services reopened in its new home today.

The department moved most of its operations and more than a dozen employees from its longtime home at 520A E. 6th St. to 1101 Manassas Ave. on Tuesday. An existing 80-foot by 100-foot barn was renovated for offices and warehouse space, Director Joseph Waltz said Tuesday. The department had worked in a small office area since the town bought the building in the 1990s, he noted.

“We designed this for future growth,” Waltz said. “Being that we haven’t upgraded these facilities since we basically took ownership of the property. … It was just due time and that’s why (we) developed a plan and started funding this year’s out instead of carrying any debt.”

The department began to set aside money for the project, estimated to cost roughly $850,000, in fiscal 2014. The town has allocated $625,000 for the project.

The town has not announced any plans for the department’s former office building.

Shown here is the Front Royal Energy Department's new home at 1101 Manassas Ave. Rich Cooley/Daily

The project’s second phase calls for the construction of another warehouse space the department plans to use to house and protect its vehicles, Waltz said. Construction for that should begin by the end of March. A line crew will work out of the warehouse area to protect the vehicles, Waltz said. The entire project, he said, should be complete by May 1, Waltz said.

Office hours remain the same: 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, excluding holidays.  A guard will be on duty given there are other town facilities located in the area.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com