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Facility Expansion Opts for HDD Geothermal Loop Installation
It had been more than 35 years since Junior Kool and wife Beverly opened the first Vermeer Midwest location in Eureka, IL, so expanding the dealership’s original facility -- built by Kool in 1976 -- was imminent.
Kool was among the first to join Vermeer Manufacturing Company more than a half century ago, first as a weld grinder on the factory floor before moving into a customer service role. Later, with encouragement from founder Gary Vermeer, Kool then left his position with the Pella, IA-based manufacturing company and started what now ranks as one of the largest distributors of Vermeer equipment in North America. Under his leadership, the network of Vermeer Midwest locations has since grown to nine, extending to five states and employing hundreds of people.
After a series of expansions and facelifts over the years, growth in business at the original dealership had finally necessitated a facilities change. Today, Kool’s son, Steve, has assumed the majority of managerial role responsibilities. He shared the rationale for the company’s recent expansion.
“The simple fact is that we had outgrown our Eureka facility,” Kool says. “It reached a point where we had people on top of people and the limited space was challenging to manage. We’re excited to be moving into a new building just down the road from Eureka to Goodfield, IL. The new facility will increase our shop size considerably, along with the parts storage area and office space. With more than 31,000 square feet, our new location is almost double the size of the original facility -- much needed.”
Geothermal system installed
In planning the design and specifics of the building, Kool enlisted the professionals with Hinrichsen Heating and Air Conditioning, headquartered in Goodfield, to design a geothermal system to heat and cool the new facility. According to Kool, the decision to go geothermal was a no-brainer.
“First and foremost, geothermal is good for the environment,” Kool says. “It is a sustainable, cost-effective and efficient heating and cooling source. The long-term payback was also a major factor. We calculated about a 10-year payback timeframe, and over the long haul, we project saving a lot of money on energy costs by installing a geothermal system. Vermeer is also committed to supporting geothermal, having developed equipment specifically applicable for these types of installations so it was also an opportunity to utilize our equipment.”