WESTMORELAND — It looks like Westmoreland and surrounding area residents are going to have a new place to buy presents and stocking stuffers for this year’s Christmas holiday season.
The new Dollar General store being erected at 5354 State Route 233, just past Cider Street on the right hand side, is going up on schedule and according to J J & O Construction Project Superintendent Brad Evans, will be open in December despite almost a month of weather related delays.
“Just the rain and the soil conditions made it hard for us to pour the foundation,” Evans said. “In the past two days we’ve dug it all out, brought in rocks, stabilized the soil and paved it so now when it rains the water drains to our drainage systems. But hey, if it were easy everyone would do it.”
According to Evans, the project has been under construction for approximately eight weeks.
Evans said the 9,100-square-foot store is being constructed by about a dozen subcontractors, all local companies. Burdick Paving and Sealing of Clinton are doing the asphalt parking lot and Copper City Interiors of Vernon are building the inside of the unit.
Evans said the only builders not from this area are the actual erectors, but that was not for lack of trying.
“The electrical contractors are from right down the street,” said Evans, as he recalled who he had working for him. “The mason guy is local too. We did hire a local erector, but he didn’t show up, so we brought in a team from Georgia.”
Even the Dollar General sign is being created by a company in Canastota named Victory Signs.
“Right now we’re at about mid-stage point,” Evans said. “Our drop dead date is Dec. 9. That’s the day we give the store to Dollar General. It’s also called a “turn-over date” and then typically there’s a soft opening for a couple weeks. After that comes the grand opening, but that’s all dictated by Dollar General personnel.”
Crystal Ghassemi, Dollar General director of public relations, confirmed that estimate and provided some additional information.
“Based on our current timeline, we anticipate the store to open within the next 6-8 weeks with a grand opening celebration to be held in the weeks following,” said Ghassemi, in an email.
“The store will employ approximately 6-10 employees, depending on the individual needs of the store. Anyone interested in joining one of America’s fastest-growing retailers with competitive wages and benefits, world-class training and development and the ability to further their career through our growing organization may apply for available positions online at www.dollargeneral.com/careers.”
Evans said it’s amazing to see how fast they get these stores up and running, but he’s not surprised they have it down so cold, he was told Dollar General builds about 4,000 stores a year nationwide.
“I’ve seen it first hand,” he said. “I’ve watched the girls and the guys set up these stores. They have these diagrams that tell them where every can of soup and every bag of potato chips goes. First they set up the shelving and endcaps, they have a company that comes in and does that, and it typically takes about two days. Then they stock the store and build the inside of it in another two days. It’s probably the best I’ve ever seen.”
Ghassemi said Dollar General is excited to serve this area.
“Our customers are at the center of all that we do and meeting customers’ needs is Dollar General’s top priority,” she said. “When choosing store locations. The company looks for places where we can offer customers an easy and convenient shopping choice as we generally serve customers within a three to five mile radius, or 10-minute drive. We also take competitive factors, traffic patterns and community concerns into consideration.”
Evans said this was the third store he supervised the building of this year. But he was so confident in the local crews his biggest problem was finding a good bite to eat in the immediate area.
“Thanks for the tip on Knuckleheads, I’ll try it,” said Evans, as he drove off in his pickup to go get lunch.