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2021 Design Team of the Year finalist: Convoy of Hope

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The desire to consolidate operations and staff to a single campus is behind Convoy of Hope debuting its new distribution center late this summer in Republic.

At 250,000 square feet, the center at 7200 W. Carnahan St. is near James River Freeway and part of a multiphase project on 135 acres the international humanitarian relief organization owns at the Republic and Springfield border. Project architect Jon Dodd of Buxton Kubik Dodd Design Collective said the nonprofit relocated its distribution center from Springfield, with plans to do the same for its headquarters in 2023. Convoy of Hope held an Oct. 27 dedication ceremony that doubled as a groundbreaking for its future headquarters.

“It’s really strategically placed where it sits along the highway for future phases to be built around it and connect to it,” Dodd said of the new distribution center, which is smaller but more efficient than its prior 300,000-square-foot facility. “We were able to decrease the footprint needed to store three times as much material as what they previously stored.”

Dodd said the design called for new forklift equipment, tighter aisle spacing and taller storage racks, which greatly increased the number of pallets available to store in the new center. Additionally, the receiving dock area was designed to allow space for incoming donations to be sorted and repacked efficiently before being stored for distribution.

“It needed to be a different design with more space involved in managing that effort,” he said. “We spent a lot of time to make sure it would work on paper prior to building.”

While the project team occasionally worked through issues such as labor and supply material shortages, Dodd said those challenges were overcome to get Convoy into the new building by its summer goal.

Another unique component was the creation of a second-level observation platform.

“We did that so that they can bring their donors, visitors, people touring through that space and take them to one spot where they can see all operations happening at one time,” Dodd said. “It’s a powerful little area within the building.”

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