The New Addition

An illustration of how the office on 45 Horner Street will appear
 An illustration of how the office on 45 Horner Street will appear.

We are delighted to share some wonderful news with you. In September, the PEC board passed a resolution to improve our headquarters—and now construction is under way! Work kicked off on November 10, 2014 on the expansion of our 45 Horner Street office. This addition will allow all of our Warrenton staff to be under the same roof for the first time in more than five years.

After considering a move to a new consolidated office in town or in another county, PEC chose the more sustainable solution by expanding its existing headquar­ters on Horner Street. The decision to stay in Warrenton enabled PEC to make a major reinvestment in the continued revitalization of Old Town. PEC is excited to keep employees within walking distance of town, county and state offices, as well as restaurants, stores and services on Main Street. In addi­tion, PEC’s improved building will provide the community access to our staff and a better and larger meeting space.

“It’s an organizational commitment to a vision of the Piedmont that focuses on thriv­ing cities, towns and service districts surrounded by vibrant open space,” said Chris Miller, PEC President. “We love being part of Warrenton and joining with other businesses that have contributed to making it one of the best small towns in America.”

Being in the same office again will undoubtedly make the Warrenton staff a more efficient team, and it will help operations run seamlessly. For the past five years, we’ve been renting a space on Main Street for our develop­ment and finance departments.

Another benefit of the expansion is we will be able to hold meetings, workshops and outreach events at our home base, saving on costs and coordination time.

PEC’s headquarters has been in Warrenton since 1972. And through a generous gift from George L. Ohrstrom, the office space at 45 Horner Street was donated to our organization in 1993. The second oldest building in town, the small farmhouse was renovated, and an addition was added to the building soon after it was acquired. Until now, the 4,800 square foot office has served as the organization’s main headquarters. However, as our Board and staff expanded to support our field offices in nine counties, so did the need for additional meeting and office space.

The renovation and construction are underway and will continue through most of 2015. PEC hired Bowie Gridley as architects for the project. Principal Cal Bowie, a resident of Fauquier County, has donated a portion of his time to oversee the project. Cal worked with a committee to develop guidelines for sustainable design elements that reflect PEC’s values.

Improvements will include the reuse of the exist­ing structure, a high performance building envelope, locally-available and formaldehyde-free materials, recycled-content materials, low-VOC paints, low-flow plumb­ing fixtures, LED lighting, a geothermal heating system, native plantings and a rain garden for stormwater management.

It was also important for PEC to keep the historical integrity of the house. It’s estimated that the original structure was built in 1784. Most of the house will be kept as close to its original state as pos­sible.

The new construction and renovation costs are budgeted at $2.5 million. A lead gift for the building came as a bequest to PEC. That gift was matched by a PEC board member, and followed by several other gifts from long-term supporters of our organization. “It has been a great response from our membership with several donors anxious to make certain that PEC is well situated to meet the challenges of the coming years,” said Doug Larson, Vice President of Devel­opment for PEC.

A complete list of donors to the project will be formally recognized in the new addi­tion. While we have substantially funded the project, we recognize that we will need additional funds to fully furnish and land­scape the building.

During construction, PEC will be in leased space at 96 Main Street and 550 Broadview Ave, Suite 200 in Warrenton, Va. Both offices can be reached by dialing (540) 347-2334. And we’re just right around the corner, if you want to come say hello!

This article was featured in our Winter 2014 Member Newsletter, The Piedmont View.