By Jesse Wood
Aug. 2, 2013. AppalCART celebrated its new facility with a ribbon cutting on Friday afternoon.
Construction of the $5.5 million project began in 2009 and featured setbacks along the way with the initial contractor running into financial trouble. Boone-based Greene Construction was awarded the new contract to finish the project last December, and in June, AppalCART moved into the new 10,000-square-foot facility.
Participating in the ribbon cutting were AppalCART Transportation Director Chris Turner, Boone Town Council Member Andy Ball, Boone Mayor Loretta Clawson, NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata, AppalCART Board Chair Jerry Moretz, AppalCART Board Member Angie Boitnotte, and ASU Vice Chancellor of Business Affairs Greg Lovins.
After the ribbon cutting, several of the officials spoke before those in attendance.
Turner said this was the end of result of years of planning and cooperation between ASU, the Town of Boone, Watauga County and the N.C. Department of Transportation. He noted that public transportation is “universal [and bipartisan] need.”
Tata noted the more than 1.6 million passenger trips that AppalCART recorded in the 2012-13 fiscal year and the environmental benefits of public transportation. He also said that AppalCART is the “premiere transit system” in a state that features nearly 100 transit systems.
Clawson referred to the student population and potential traffic that would occur in Boone if the AppalCART didn’t exist for the nearly 17,000 students.
“If they had no AppalCART to ride on, what in the world would we do?” Clawson asked.
Moretz, who has been on the board for at least 15 years, received an award of appreciation, as he will no longer serve on the board in the near future. His comments echoed Clawson’s.
He noted that there would be 4,000 to 5,000 more cars in Boone looking for parking spaces and clogging the streets. “What a mess it would be,” Moretz said.
In his closing statements, Turner took to the podium again to mention some of the struggles associated with the original contractor and Mutual Liberty, the bonding company, taking over the project.
“The best thing they ever did was hire Greene Construction,” Turner said.
Primary funding for the building construction was through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. NCDOT contributed $300,000 direct aid and $500,000 in planning help. AppalCART used $110,000 of its capital fund balance to contribute a 10 percent match towards the land acquisition.
- 8.18 Acres Cost $1.1 Million in 2004
- Architects: David Moses of Linville and Bill Clarke of Columbia, S.C.
- Project Manager Patrick Belville of Boone
- General Contractors: Greene Construction and McCarrol Construction
- Bonded by Liberty Mutual Surety
- Building Size: 23,000 square feet
- Shop: 15,000 square feet
- Washbay: 1,414 square feet
- Garage Doors: 12
- Fleet Parking Canopy Spaces: 30 buses and 17 vans
- 53 Non-fleet parking spaces
- 10 offices downstairs in 6,045 square feet
- Conference Room: 1,200 square feet
- Building Cost: $5.5 Million approximately
- Green Building Features: passive solar design, rain-collection system, foam insulation, motion detector lights inside, infrared activated faucets in bathrooms, natural lighting in shop.