LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Angelina Neches River Authority's president, Jody Anderson, expressed his future hopes for the organization, during Friday's groundbreaking of their new facility.
"We represent a wide area, so we're kind of scattered out over 17 counties," Anderson said. "And, a central office really just needs to be a central office."
The project, which was officially started Friday, is expected to finish up no later than February of 2019.
"To be able to have a location that can serve our customers better," said employee, Dyan Stanford. "I mean, parking here in downtown is incredibly difficult."
The building's plan, which is going to cover just over 6,000 square feet, will use 2,000 square feet for the new water testing laboratory.
"It'll just be an updated, current, state of the art lab, where our employees will have plenty of room to work," Anderson said. "And, we'll be able to function much more efficiently."
Stanford added that the extra space will also allow the group to offer a wider variety of water tests to those look for clarity.
"I know that we have not done metals before," Stanford said. "With the availability to add that on, that'll be something that we can then market to our industrial customers that we haven't been able to touch before. We've had to outsource that, subcontract it."
The plan, which was first thought up in 2012, will cost $1.461 million.
"This has been just so exciting for us," Stanford said. "We're just happy now to be in the stage of actually seeing construction start."
The groundbreaking was attended by governmental officials from across the area, including Texas representatives, Travis Clardy and Trent Ashby, who both say they're excited to see the work that comes out of the new building.