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BLP in process of expanding facility

Construction planned to accommodate Shiras Steam Plant employees

Marquette Board of Light and Power Executive Director Tom Carpenter, left, addresses the importance of expanding the BLP office building Tuesday at a public meeting as assistant city attorney Laura Katers Reilly looks on. The proposed project would make space for employees who are currently working at the Shiras Steam Plant, which is planned for demolition. (Journal photo by Jackie Jahfetson)

MARQUETTE — The Marquette Board of Light and Power is in the process of expanding its building along Wright Street to make room for employees who work at the office housed in the BLP’s Shiras Steam Plant, which will eventually be demolished.

The BLP’s board of directors discussed the capital project at a meeting on Tuesday. The BLP is working with a designer architect that’s putting a package together to send to local construction companies in the spring so the BLP can obtain bids for the project, BLP Executive Director Tom Carpenter said.

“We are currently finalizing all the project plans, which is the expansion of the east side of the building. (It) is going to have a number of offices, meeting rooms and a new board room. And some work space and workshop space for all the employees that were formerly and currently housed at the Shiras Steam Plant,” Carpenter said.

After a construction company is hired, the construction is anticipated to begin in early summer, with completion of the project anticipated in late fall or early winter, Carpenter said.

“It’s going to be a little bit of a disruption to the workflow onsite here through the summer. It’s always challenging to do construction projects in an active workplace … We’ll just have to make sure we accommodate for that type of work,” Carpenter said.

The budget for the project is still up in the air, he said, adding that it depends on what construction company is selected for the project through the bidding process.

“As soon as we decided to retire the Shiras Steam Plant and then take it a step further and demo the building, we knew we needed a project like this. It’s been on the books for a while,” Carpenter said.

The BLP office is located at 2200 Wright St. in Marquette.

Jackie Jahfetson can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248.

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