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New Facility: Facilities not meeting cooperative’s needs today

By JuliAnn Graham, Communications Coordinator

Originally published in February 2014 issue of TCEC LiveWire newsletter.

To say TCEC’s existing facilities are crowded is an understatement. They are bulging at the seams. The cooperative has seen a 268 percent increase in employees since the building was built for 25 employees in 1961. As the employee base grew, office space dwindled until nine workareas now fill what used to be the office breakroom in the basement. The cooperative’s only breakroom is in what used to be a storage room and it doubles as a conference room. Employee lunches and breaks are often interrupted for meetings.  

Employees crowd in the cooperative’s breakroom in the basement for training. TCEC does not have conference rooms in its office, either the breakroom or the ceo’s office is used.Employees who have a cubicle upstairs are in one-fourth or one-half the space the original cubicles were intended to be. Other employees are no longer in the main office and endure long walks from modular buildings to gather mail or meet with peers. Even the two modular building the cooperative has installed are filled to capacity and meeting space is limited.

TCEC employees are thankful they have rewarding and meaningful jobs so they will endure space constraints knowing it points to the success of the cooperative. But for those with disabilities, existing facilities are inadequate and possibly dangerous. The cooperative’s headquarters are out of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. To come into compliance with ADA requirements is cost prohibitive in the cooperative’s current facilities. To remain out of compliance with the ADA is a serious liability for the cooperative.

Storage space is also at a premium for the cooperative. Throughout the office, cubicles are overflowing and any free space on filing cabinets or the floor is filled with equipment and materials. Storage has been added at the warehouse in the form of portable containers which is inconvenient for daily use and is also full now.
The cooperative requires an efficient, well-organized and central location for its operations so it can meet the demands of its members. The need for a new facility has never been greater. TCEC continues with its plans for a new facility near Hooker, slated to be completed in mid-to-late 2015.


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