Chesterfield County held a ribbon cutting on Thursday for the new Fleet Services facility, which opened for business earlier this year. The 16-bay, roughly 34,000-square foot structure, located at 9722 Lori Lane on the former fire training grounds, is a significant step forward for the division and the county as a whole.
The Fleet Services Division is part of Chesterfield’s General Services Department, providing preventative maintenance and repair services, fueling infrastructure, motor pool vehicles, and other ancillary services to county and school board departments. With several other maintenance locations as well as the neighboring and newly-renovated Radio Shop, the division employs nearly 90 team members and has been recognized in the industry as a Top 20 leading fleet, a Top 50 Green Fleet, and a Top 100 Public Fleet in the USA for the past four consecutive years.
The division oversees approximately 3,200 vehicles in total, including light, medium, and heavy vehicles, trailers, and off-road equipment, as well as approximately 700 school buses, which is the fifth-largest bus fleet in the commonwealth.
The new facility will serve as the primary location for 25 employees, including fleet management, supervisory staff and administrative support, as well as heavy shop technicians and parts room employees. Approximately 900 vehicles (not including school buses) will be assigned to that location for repairs. Motor pool operations will also be housed there, too.
“This building has been decades in the making and it really is something to celebrate for our staff,” said Kevin Carroll, chair of the Chesterfield Board of Supervisors (Matoaca District). “We take great pride that we’re good stewards of our taxpayer’s dollars and this will add a tremendous amount of efficiency to our operation.”
The facility includes 53-foot-long bays with more than 22,000 square feet of shop space, with a ceiling height of 26 feet throughout the area and up to 39 feet at its highest point. In addition to the heavy shop space there is 500 square feet for customer service, allowing drivers to pick up, drop off, or wait for vehicles. There’s a 900-square foot on-site training area that can seat 40 people, which will be used for OEM classes, first-aid, and extended staff meetings.
It also features a 2,500-square foot parts room and a tool room that measures more than 1,200 square feet. There are additional spaces for training and study for testing, as well as showers and changing room facilities with lockers for on-site staff, a secured records room to store pertinent vehicle information, and a conference room that can seat up to 10.
“This building also represents the cornerstone for Fleet Services and reinforces what my team strives to do every day, to be the best and most dynamic fleet operation in the industry through continuous improvement with an emphasis on principles that include teamwork, responsibility, and most importantly customer service,” said Fleet Services Manager Craig Willingham.
In addition to the new facility, the Radio Shop was able to move into the former repair location. Renovations there helped to expand to six heavy vehicle bays, providing for additional space for vehicle equipment installations, additional square footage for administrative staff, a larger technician workroom, and much needed storage space for materials and repair parts.
“They can now more efficiently and safely perform installations of radios, lights, sirens, mobile data systems, and other hardware in Chesterfield County’s various public safety and maintenance vehicles,” said Radio Shop Manager Kevin Routhier.
The area around the new building is fenced, with access being granted via after-hours proxy cards, so as to surround the building and rear perimeter of the property, including the Radio Shop and the light vehicle shop.
With these moves, the county has not only added critical additional space for multiple parts of the operation, but it has also doubled the number of available parking spaces (approximately 450) for county vehicles and staff. Such improvements set the division up well for the future.
“This facility, along with the newly renovated Radio Shop where Fleet’s heavy shop once stood, will allow our respective operations to continue exceeding our customers’ needs so that they can best serve the citizens and visitors of Chesterfield County for many years to come,” Willingham said.
“I want to extend, to the men and women of the fleet services and radio shop, thank you for all of your hard work,” Carroll added. “I know the board appreciates the immediate work you do to keep the county running smoothly. We have to make sure our vehicles are on the road and providing the services that they need and not tied up for maintenance.”
This blog post was written by Brad Franklin, creative content writer in Chesterfield's Department of Communications and Media