Building for the Future
November 4, 2017
Written By Adam Buckallew
The construction department at MFA Oil Company may not have many employees, but what it lacks in manpower it more than makes up with its productivity. The department is primarily staffed by Brian Arnold, senior construction specialist, who works directly with architects, engineers and contractors on the company’s projects.
“I oversee the work on all new construction jobs and any major remodels or repairs the company’s facilities may need,” Arnold says. “New construction is fun, but the renovation projects are just as important to our operations.”
The department has been responsible for many projects in recent years, including construction of nine new Break Time stores, two bulk fuel and propane offices, two Big O Tires stores, a Big O Tires warehouse and 20 major remodels since 2012.
“We’ve been busy reimaging many of our Break Time stores with new soda fountains and coffee service stations,” Arnold says. “The schedule with remodels is usually more intense than new construction projects because we are trying to minimize any downtime for customers.”
The Break Time division has kept Arnold busy this past year with new stores being constructed in Lee’s Summit, Mo.; Clinton, Mo.; and Moberly, Mo.
“The Lee’s Summit store was a fun project because it’s a new prototype we are testing for future Break Time locations,” Arnold says. “It was designed with an open, customer-centric layout, raised ceilings, a carwash and a redesigned logo.”
MFA Oil’s Big O Tires franchise stores have also taken advantage of the construction department’s services. New stores were built in Fayetteville, Ark., and Jefferson City, Mo., within the last year, and the company purchased and remodeled two additional locations in Oklahoma.
In addition to projects for the company’s retail business units, the department has managed the construction of new offices for bulk fuel and propane plants in Centerville, Iowa, and Rogersville, Mo.
Easily the biggest project the construction department has recently been involved with was the opening of the MFA Oil Business Support Campus in Moberly, Mo., in 2016. The 33-acre property is now home to the company’s distribution center, maintenance department, parts and packaged goods warehouses, training center, logistics department, product development and quality control lab, 32,000-square-foot truck services shop, and bulk lubricant storage facility.
“Building the Business Support Campus enabled us to upgrade many of our outdated facilities by moving them to a central location with state-of-the-art technology,” says Ed Harper, vice president of retail automotive, who manages the construction department. “That facility has given us many of the resources our employees needed to better serve our farmer-owners more efficiently.”
As the company continues to grow, the construction department stands ready to guide upcoming building and remodeling efforts.