Construction progresses on the St. Cloud Operations & Maintenance Center’s two main buildings, the 55,000-square-foot warehouse (center) and 22,000-square-foot fleet maintenance facility (right).

OUC’s St. Cloud Operations & Maintenance Center is taking shape as construction of the site’s warehouse and fleet maintenance buildings reaches 30% completion as of late October.

The foundations, underground electrical and plumbing, and walls for both buildings are completed, and roofing work is expected to begin in late November, said Gary Baynon, OUC’s Project Manager of the St. Cloud campus.

Baynon says Phase 1 of the 24-acre site is scheduled to be completed in the latter part of 2023. Future phases are expected to include an administrative building and a substation. Ajax Construction is building the campus located near the southwest corner of Hickory Tree Road in east St. Cloud.

When completed, the St. Cloud Operations & Maintenance Center will be the first net-zero energy campus in Florida to be built for a utility. The site combines state-of-art technology with sustainability, with its buildings using 50% less energy and 42% less water than conventional facilities of similar size.

“The goal for any construction of this size, is to build for the future. You want the project to have functional relevance for the next 50 years,” said Vince Preston, OUC’s Director of Logistics.

The project includes several sustainable features, including rooftop solar panels, floating solar, high-efficiency water fixtures, rainwater harvesting tanks, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, walking and biking trails, and EV charging stations. Human-focused design strategies were added to promote well-being, safety and encourage healthy choices. Buildings on campus were designed to meet the stringent requirements of LEED®, Fitwel and WELL Health Safety Standard.

Sunlight will provide 80% of the site’s interior lighting while solar arrays generate 1.5 million kilowatt hours of energy per year.

When built out, the St. Cloud Operations & Maintenance Center will be the first net-zero energy campus in Florida to be built for a utility