Ameren Illinois recently unveiled its newly renovated 29,000-sq-ft East St. Louis Operating Center, demonstrating the company’s commitment to strengthening its operations in the Metro East.
Ameren Illinois Chairman and President Richard J. Mark was joined by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, East St. Louis Mayor Emeka Jackson-Hicks and state and local leaders in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially re-open the upgraded operating center. Sitting on 5.3 acres at 500 E. Broadway in East St. Louis, the facility houses 50 employees and serves as the operational hub for energy delivery services provided to 30,000-plus customers across more than 10 Metro East communities. Workers ranging from linemen and engineers to gas emergency response personnel are based at the facility.
“This reinvestment transformed a 60-year-old building into a state-of-the-art operating center, offering a comfortable and modern work space for employees, and enhanced equipment staging and storage capabilities,” Mark said. “We’ve maintained a strong presence in the East St. Louis community for many years, and we’re excited to continue our efforts to build the next generation energy delivery system for local residential and business customers.”
Ameren Illinois invested $10.6 million in the renovation project, resulting in many new and enhanced features, including:
- Parking for more than 25 Ameren Illinois service trucks under an upgraded truck shelter. The on-site fleet includes 13 line, eight substation, four metering and two gas emergency vehicles.
- An enhanced indoor garage for fleet repairs and tire storage.
- New conference rooms and meeting space for employees.
- Energy efficient LED lighting throughout the facility.
- 57 parking spaces for employees.
- A new wellness room and new locker rooms.
- New electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems.
- Storm water improvements and a more advanced fire protection system.
Construction was performed by IMPACT Strategies and took approximately eight months to complete, creating 50 construction jobs. Nearly 35 percent of the construction work was performed by minority- or female-owned contractors.
“As an East St. Louis native, I’m glad to see Ameren Illinois continue to invest in this community and its workers,” said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin. “The construction jobs created by the renovation and the key upgrades for the 50 current employees at the facility are part of a continued effort to tap into the Metro East workforce and improve the local economy. Congratulations to Ameren Illinois and Mayor Jackson-Hicks on today’s ribbon-cutting.”
“This is an important day for East St. Louis,” said Mayor Jackson-Hicks. “Ameren Illinois is a strong community partner and this beautiful facility truly reaffirms the company’s commitment to our City and its residents.”
The new operating center is only one example of recent Ameren Illinois projects in the East St. Louis area. Since 2015, the company has invested more than $30 million across numerous projects, including: a remediation initiative to remove 22,000 tons of impacted soil from an old manufactured gas plant on Lynch Avenue, construction of the Katherine Dunham Substation to increase reliability for 3,000-plus local customers, upgrades to the Ridge Substation and the Edgemont Substation, as well as two miles of new power lines and 70 new poles to fortify the local grid.
Looking ahead, Ameren Illinois will begin adding smart meters to local homes and businesses in February.
“We’re excited about the recent upgrades in East St. Louis and look forward to partnering with the City well into the future,” Mark added.
The operating center serves customers in the following communities: East St. Louis, Cahokia, Sauget, Washington Park, Alorton, Centerville, Fairmont City, State Park, Mitchell, Fairview Heights and small parts of Belleville and Dutch Hollow.