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Prime adds phase II expansion

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by Michele Skalicky

SBJ Contributing Writer

A new building is going up at Prime Inc., and the trucking company hopes the project will attract new recruits.

The 60,000-square-foot commons building is phase II of a three-phase project started last year.

It will house a training facility, child-care services, an exercise room and basketball court, an expanded cafeteria and a company-owned convenience store. Some offices also will be moved into the commons building.

Patty Hicks, tax manager for Prime, said the driver amenities project came about after the company surveyed drivers and found out what they felt would make life easier for them.

"It's mostly geared toward making sure drivers have a safe and a nice place to come when they come by the terminal facility," Hicks said.

Construction began on the commons building in April, and the project is expected to be completed next fall. Phase I, which comprised a new inspection and fuel facility, was completed in March. That building houses several offices, including the lineup department, permit department, road assist and security, according to Hicks.

Construction of phase III, a new repair and maintenance facility, will begin about three months after the commons building is complete, according to Hicks.

That phase will allow Prime to move part of the shop to the new building, and the office area might then be expanded with the freed-up space, Hicks said.

Killian Construction is the contractor for the approximately $14 million project, and the architectural firm is Slone Architects.

The three new buildings are expected to bring in new in-house employees and drivers.

Prime has already hired more than 50 new in-house employees with phase I of the construction project, and the company hopes to hire at least another 150 with the final phases, Hicks said.

"The main reason you always want to go and build a project like this is for driver recruitment," Hicks said. "There's a big shortage in the company for drivers.

"The main focus is to make sure drivers know we do care about them and that we're doing what we can to make their life easier."

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