GRTC Moves into New Headquarters Ahead of Schedule | Richmond Times Dispatch

GRTC Transit System moved into a new $38 million headquarters in South Richmond after more than 100 years in makeshift quarters near the Fan District. Built for safety, as well as energy and operational efficiencies, the new facility on East Belt Boulevard represents a leap as dramatic as Richmond’s evolution from electric trolleys to talking buses equipped with GPS capabilities.rnrnThe new administrative and operations center will allow GRTC to make full use of technology, from how bus operators are trained with computer simulators to how the fleet is mobilized during an emergency, said John M. Lewis Jr., GRTC’s chief executive officer. rnrnGRTC officials have been talking about building a new headquarters for at least 15 years, but the project didn’t get traction until the 12-acre site on Belt Boulevard was purchased in early 2006. Construction started in February 2008, and it is about 1½ months ahead of schedule and about $1.9 million under its $40 million budget, Lewis said.rnrnThe project was designed to meet Silver standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program of the U.S. Green Building Council, and with separate entrances for buses and employee vehicles.rnrnThe new headquarters is tucked behind a series of buildings along the commercial strip. To ensure safety, buses are expected to flow through the site in an orderly, counterclockwise fashion, as they empty their fare boxes, get refueled and washed, and are finally parked for maintenance.rnrnThe architect is KEI Architects and the general contractor is Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc.rnrnSource: Will Jones | Richmond Times Dispatchrn