(EVANSVILLE, Ind.)-Atlas Van Lines began construction today on an $8 million, 60,000 sq. ft. expansion at its world corporate headquarters in Evansville, Indiana. Atlas has moved up to become the nation's fourth-largest van line, and the expansion symbolizes the success that Atlas and its agents have experienced, as well as the company's commitment to the Evansville community and continued growth in the future.
The new building, which will be constructed adjacent to Atlas' current 67,000 sq. ft. headquarters at 1212 St. George Rd. in Evansville, is scheduled for completion in early 2000.
"This expansion shows our commitment to continued growth in the Evansville area," said Mike Shaffer, chairman and CEO of Atlas Van Lines, Inc. "It also confirms that our commitment to quality and customer service has indeed brought us into an era of unprecedented success."
More than 400 Atlas personnel were in attendance at the groundbreaking. Speakers included Evansville Mayor Frank McDonald, former Atlas Chairman and CEO Norman Gee, and Atlas CFO and headquarters construction project director Howard Parker.
For the actual groundbreaking with ceremonial shovels, McDonald, Gee and Parker were joined by Keith Hammonds, Atlas Director of Facilities, and Dana Manning, who was selected in a drawing to represent Atlas' headquarters employees at the event. Hammonds helped develop plans for the new building and will oversee all construction. Manning has been with Atlas nearly 10 years and works in the fleet registration department.
In addition to the construction of the new two-story office facility, the project includes extensive site work and landscaping to beautify the grounds. Plans call for numerous plantings of trees and shrubs. Other improvements include new curbs and parking lots.
Designed by the architectural firm of Edmund L. Hafer & Associates and to be built by Wink Construction, the new addition will be a stark contrast to the existing building and essentially will bring Atlas World Group and Atlas Van Lines into the 21st century. Two rows of seven- to eight-foot high windows and a skylight positioned over the building's lobby will give the facility a more open atmosphere. Offices will be positioned away from the building's outer perimeter, allowing more light to filter throughout the entire building. In addition, all of the conference, file, and break rooms will be located in the center of each floor to keep work areas as user-friendly as possible. The final design includes room for growth beyond the year 2005 to ensure that the new facility will keep pace with Atlas' growth.
The new building is yet another sign of Atlas' continued growth since moving its world headquarters to Evansville from Chicago in 1960. What started as a small office facility has since undergone four additions to accommodate the business' continuing growth:
"We realized that without another expansion, we couldn't continue our growth rate and maintain our level of superior customer service, which has always been the cornerstone of our business," said Howard Parker.
Headquartered in Evansville, IN, Atlas Van Lines is a major transporter of household goods and special products through some 600 agents across the U.S. and Canada, and more than 800 worldwide.