As it continues a spree of buying small water and wastewater systems, Pennsylvania American Water also is getting ready to move into a new headquarters.
The Derry Township-based company, which is the largest regulated provider of water and wastewater service in Pennsylvania, will be moving from the Hershey area to Cumberland County in early 2019.
Pennsylvania American is in the process of building a larger headquarters facility on Wesley Drive in Lower Allen Township, next to an existing operations center. Senior project manager Joel Mitchell said the $24 million project, which includes erecting a 68,000-square-foot building on about eight acres of land, is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
About 60 employees who work in the Derry Township headquarters will then begin moving to Cumberland County. Most will make the transition to 852 Wesley Drive in the first quarter of 2019.
“The Hershey building has grown to a point where we couldn’t expand anymore,” Mitchell said.
That facility, which covers 34,500 square feet, is under agreement to sell to the Antique Automobile Club of America, based in Derry Township. The club will move out of its current facility on West Governor Road and into the larger Pennsylvania American building on Hershey Park Drive, said Steve Moskowitz, the AACA’s executive director.
The building will serve as the new national headquarters and home for the organization’s library and research center.
“This will allow us to drastically expand our services,” Moskowitz said. “It will give us another 10,000 to 15,000 of usable square footage and drastically improve our parking situation.”
Meanwhile, Mitchell said the new facility for Pennsylvania American will help bring most of its local employees under one roof, which will improve communications and productivity between departments. Pennsylvania announced the move in late 2016 after it acquired the property next to its West Shore facility.
The design includes investments in energy efficiency. Among the features are a geothermal heating and cooling system and LED lighting inside and outside of the building. Pennsylvania American also is planting a low-maintenance meadow grass mix to reduce lawn-care needs and improve water runoff from the property, as well as adding a monarch butterfly habitat.
Room to grow
As the company continues to grow its operations in Pennsylvania, Mitchell said the new property will give Pennsylvania American room to expand its workforce in the future.
Pennsylvania American recently signed an agreement to buy water and wastewater assets owned by the Borough of Turbotville in Northumberland County. The company previously announced deals for systems in Berks and Chester counties, and it has been buying other municipal systems across the state.
Pennsylvania American acquired wastewater systems in Fairview Township and New Cumberland in 2015 and 2016, deals that added more than 7,000 customers. The company has about 39,000 water customers in Cumberland and York counties.
A subsidiary of New Jersey-based American Water, Pennsylvania American serves about 2.4 million people.