City council tours Eagle Creek building’s progress

By Travis Gulbrandson

Although the building that is currently under construction behind the old Pamida building will house Eagle Creek Software Services exclusively, is has been designed to have maximum flexibility for the future.

That’s what Steve Howe, executive director of the Vermillion Chamber of Commerce & Development Company, told members of the Vermillion City Council.

The council members took a tour of the unfinished facility during a special meeting over the noon hour Monday.

“This building will meet the needs of Eagle Creek, and they had some significant influence on the design, but it was not designed for single-purpose use,” Howe said. “It was designed so we could subdivide it out and give us the most opportunity to make sure that the building is sustainable for the long run.

“The last thing we want is a building that was built for one tenant, something happens, the economy changes down the road, and then we have a building that is unmarketable. When it gets done, this building is going to have tons of flexibility with minor modifications,” he said.

The building is set to be finished on May 1, and Howe said the Eagle Creek officials are “very excited” to move in.

The Eagle Creek building is shaped something like the letter T, Howe said.

“The way we have the doors set up, you could subdivide that and have two tenants off of each one, and they would have access to a common conference room if that was needed,” he said. “It’s going to be similar on both sides. The wings are going to be designed the same. They have these pods that are both an office and a conference room.”

There are three pods in the building overall, he said.

“This meets the needs of Eagle Creek, because they have … teams that work with clients, and they need to get out of the main cubicle space and into a private conference room to work on projects,” Howe said. “Then they have the frontline managers and project managers, so these pods were for them.

“The way they’ll work in a situation where you have to have multiple tenants, with very little modification, we could be running a hallway down one of these walls and separating these pods out, and actually have three tenants, allowing them not only the cubicle space, but an office and conference room for each pod,” he said.

However, Eagle Creek is going to be the building’s only tenant, he added.

Another area of the building that lends itself to multiple users is the training area, which has a beam down the middle of the ceiling so that it can be subdivided into two training rooms.

The city council members got to look at all of the sections of the building, from the common areas like break rooms and rest rooms, to the utility room, which will be bigger than most.

“When we were looking at the buildings, one of the big complaints – not just for Eagle Creek, but in general – the utility rooms get so cramped,” Howe said. “They try to cram so much into these small places as a way to try to save money … that you can’t maintain the equipment properly.

“So, we designed it to make sure that there was really good airflow and access for the people that service the equipment,” he said.

While the building itself is set to be completed May 1, there may still be some work to be completed outside.

“We got as much possible done on the exterior before the winter came, just to make sure and stay ahead of the game,” Howe said.

Eagle Creek provides consulting and technical expertise, focusing on customer relationship management, information management and applications development.

The company’s mission is to help its clients increase quality and efficiencies while managing price and risk in software development, deployment and support.

Eagle Creek currently has a temporary workspace at USD’s Beacom School of Business.

“They’ve pretty well filled that up,” Howe said. “They have 41 employees so far, and right now they could and would like to have the next training class, but they don’t have the space up there for another class.

“So, they’re going to try to time it so that they’ll start another training class when they start to transition into here,” he said.

When it is completed, the Eagle Creek facility will bring approximately 200 new jobs to Vermillion, Howe said during the ground-breaking ceremony last August.

The headquarters of Eagle Creek Software Services is located in Eden Prairie, MN. The company has project centers in Pierre and Valley City, ND.

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