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Officials mark completion of Crooked Road Tech Center expansion

Wes Bunch • Aug 19, 2013 at 11:41 PM

DUFFIELD — State and federal lawmakers joined Scott County officials in Duffield last Friday to declare the multi-million dollar expansion of the Crooked Road Technology Center open for business.

The recently completed second phase of construction adds 33,000 square feet of tenant space — nearly doubling the facility’s size — and was funded by a total of $4.37 million in grants from the U.S. Economic Development Authority and the Virginia Tobacco and Indemnification Commission.

The final cost of the expansion reportedly came in just under the grant amounts.

Both U.S. Rep. Morgan Griffith and Virginia state Sen. William Wampler were on hand at the event to mark the project’s importance in helping attract better paying jobs to the region.

“I was honored to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Phase 2 of the Crooked Road Technology Center,” Griffith said after the event. “I’m really looking forward to seeing its impact on Scott County and the region in the future.”

Scott County Economic Development Authority Executive Director John Kilgore, whose organization will help manage and market the property, said the grant funds were crucial to the expansion’s completion.

“The grants for the Scott County Economic Development Authority are very beneficial, especially having the resources of the Virginia Tobacco Commission and partnering with the U.S. Economic Development Authority on this instance to come up with the necessary funds,” Kilgore said. “It’s been a long time since EDA has done a federal project in Scott County, and the Tobacco Commission had already invested heavily in the area, so it’s good to have another partner come on with this project in Duffield.”

Construction of the second phase began shortly after the grant funds were announced by former U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher in Sept. 2010. The project had been scheduled for completion earlier this year, but that deadline was extended several times to accommodate last-minute changes to work orders, EDA officials said.

The building’s new wing features both office space and areas that can be used for research and development, Kilgore said.

“This will have flex space that we did not have before,” Kilgore said. “We’ve never really had any high-end office space, technology space or research space in the county. This gives us not only a starting point, but maybe an advantage over other communities who don’t have a facility like this to offer.”

The building also features finished and unfinished space that is designed to meet a variety of prospects’ needs, Kilgore said.

One of the key factors that most businesses are looking for is speed to market, Kilgore said. “We have about 17,500 square feet of finished space and about 22,000 square feet of unfinished space, so we have space that can be built out to specifications, while other people want open space. They can move right in. It really depends on what the prospect is looking at.”

Kilgore said the center should also be attractive to the technology sector due to its location in the Crooked Road Technology Park and the investments in broadband and other infrastructure that have been made in the Duffield area in recent years.

“The prior investments in broadband are really key to that area, so we have that,” Kilgore said. “We also have a pre-qualified data center site, which is right next to the building and an asset for the county. When you add that to this building, we can hopefully attract technology and research-based businesses and bring jobs not only to our county, but the region.”

The original phase of the Crooked Road Tech Center — which houses the LENOWISCO Planning District Commission Offices, Tempur-Pedic and Amedysis Home Health — was completed in early 2010.

The 39,000-square-foot original facility cost $5.9 million to construct. That funding, which included a $2.3 million allocation from the Tobacco Commission, was announced in 2008.

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