When Coleman Co. Inc. built its 1.1-million-square-foot distribution center in 2010 at the Midwest Commerce Center in Gardner, Kan., the outdoor equipment giant added more than 150 full-time jobs to the community. Situated 30 miles south of Kansas City near Interstate 35, Interstate 70, and BNSF Railway’s logistics park, Gardner is a draw for companies that will benefit from its easy access to delivery channels.
Earlier this week, the second tenant in Gardner’s Midwest Commerce Center broke ground on its $38 million, 646,400-square-foot distribution facility. Excelligence Learning Corp.’s newest location will house manufacturing, distribution, and call center operations for its early childhood and elementary school educational tools. The Monterey, Calif.-based company produces everything from STEM curriculum resources, to classroom furniture, to books and arts & crafts materials.
First introduced to the public as “Project School,” the Excelligence Learning Corp.’s distribution center was developed by LS Commercial Real Estate of Overland Park, Kan. Prior to the groundbreaking ceremony, McClure Engineering Company (MEC) assisted the project team with site planning at the Midwest Commerce Center facility. MEC performed the ALTA survey, a stormwater development study, the final civil and landscape plans for the project, the final plat, land disturbance permit plans, and stormwater pollution prevention permit applications.
Project Manager Greg Watson attended the groundbreaking ceremony, along with City of Gardner, Johnson County, and Kansas state officials. He said this was the first large scale project MEC has worked on with LS Commercial Real Estate. “We look forward to the opportunity to build on this relationship,” he said.
Due to its size, the distribution facility presented a few design challenges for engineers. “Stormwater and grading are always a challenge on projects like this with detention requirements,” Watson said, as it relates to capturing and storing runoff water.
Although the civil and landscape plans are nearly finalized, MEC will continue to support LS Commercial Real Estate and the contractor by answering any questions they may have. “We’ll be involved all the way through the end of construction,” Watson added.
The facility is expected to be up and running by December 2018. After three years of operations in Gardner, Excelligence Learning is expected to employ 250 people.