By Wally Kennedy
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Earth is being moved next to the Crossroads Business and Distribution Park to construct an $11 million service center to house line operations for The Empire District Electric Co.
The center, which is to be completed by May 2014, is being built by Crossland Construction Co., of Columbus, Kan., at the southwest corner of Kodiak Road and East 32nd Street, also known as Route FF.
It also will be home to a new substation that will provide increased service to the adjacent industrial park, which is experiencing major growth.
Nearing completing in the park is a new $5.5 million distribution center for the Coca-Cola Bottling Co., which is adding jobs and will ultimately employ 105 people. Work also is under way to construct an $85 million pet-food manufacturing plant and distribution center, which will be operated by the Blue Buffalo Company, of Wilton, Conn. The plant, which will employ up to 150 people, will be completed in 2015.
Amy Bass, spokeswoman for Empire, said the company has outgrown its existing line operations center at 901 E. Fourth St.
“We are bursting at the seams there,” she said.