A new fleet facility being built in Fort Wayne (Indiana) will allow technicians to complete more work in-house. Fleet Operations Director Larry Campbell, CPFP, said renovations for the new facility are being finalized.
The new facility, which will be inside an old auto dealership, will be three times the size of the fleet’s current building. An alignment rack used by the previous auto dealer will be left for the maintenance team to use. Currently, alignment jobs on vehicles must be sublet because there is no room for an alignment rack in the facility. Bringing that job in-house will help the maintenance team save money, Campbell said.
The department's old fleet facility will now be used to house seasonal equipment that is currently sitting on a lot outside. Cold temperatures could cause problems for the equipment. Storing them indoors will eliminate that concern, potentially keeping that equipment from aging more quickly.
Campbell explained that he was initially looking into building a new facility from the ground up. That would have come at a price tag of $30 million. Converting an old dealership will cost half that.
The new fleet facility is one of three buildings purchased in an area of Fort Wayne known as the “auto mall.” Seven different city departments will be impacted by the move: as some move into the old auto mall, other departments will take over their previous buildings. The fleet department was given the largest building on the new property, measuring 68,000 sq. ft. Campbell hopes to use the training center inside the building to train city technicians and those from other municipalities. The building also has multiple conference rooms and offices.
The city closes on the building next month. Bids are out for contracts for the renovations. Campbell hopes to have the new fleet facility open by the summer of 2023.