The St.Thomas Line Department’s new headquarters at Market Square East will include additional cost-saving accomplishments and improved working conditions, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority announced Monday.
The Line Department’s move to Market Square East has been a long time in the making and represents an upgrade in working conditions for employees, additional square footage, and a hefty savings of $22,000 monthly for the Authority, according to a press release announcing the move.
Lineworkers and employees gathered last week to officially launch the new operations space with a team-building kickoff event. It provided an opportunity to see firsthand the progressive changes being implemented as the Authority continues to balance cost savings and employee needs, the release stated. The next phase is to focus on a home-based facility for the lineworkers in St. Croix, it said.
“The move from Bolongo to Market Square East is one of many steps the Authority is taking as we work to streamline our operational structure and improve efficiency,” said interim Chief Administrative Officer Don Gregoire. The new location will offer much-needed office space for members of the Transmission and Distribution team, in addition to a generous amount of flat terrain to safely house Authority vehicles, according to the release.
“When we examine our strategic plan holistically, there are multiple components that go into its success. Ensuring our employees have good working conditions is a priority for management, and we work diligently to meet those needs while ensuring we remain in alignment with the strategic financial goals of our organization,” said CEO and Executive Director Andrew Smith. “The move to Market Square East was an opportunity for the Authority to capitalize on both positive outcomes.”
Much of the build-out of the facility, almost 90 percent, was done in-house, utilizing the skills and experience of WAPA personnel across different departments, the release stated. This was essential to the cost savings strategy of the new headquarters for lineworkers, it said.
“Being able to see this project completed is very fulfilling. I am proud to be able to assist the linemen with the building of this new facility,” said Felix Jarvis, Building and Grounds supervisor.
Smith further elaborated, “I often discuss this sense of ‘family’ that exists at the Authority. Seeing the team join together to bring this project to fruition really demonstrates our employees’ commitment to one another and this organization. I would like to thank all the individuals who worked long hours for weeks on end to ensure the completion of our new headquarters. Your hard work is deeply appreciated and valued.”
“This building is a tremendous upgrade from our previous location. I feel truly blessed to be in this new space,” said Coral Felix-Faulkner, administrative assistant, alongside her colleague Elizabeth Dennis.