First groundbreaking at industrial park

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An artist's rendering of the two-story, 23,781 square foot United Systems building currently under construction at the Southwest One Industrial Park in Benton.

The first groundbreaking event at the new Southwest One Industrial Park in Benton is taking place tomorrow at 1 p.m. with United Systems, which was the first tenant to commit to expanding its business into the industrial park from a smaller location in Benton.

United Systems owner Scott Waldrop said, "We're looking forward to relocating to our new offices in Southwest One Industrial Park during this exciting time. As we continue our growth, the new facility will enable us to accommodate our current and future expansion."

Dennis Smith, owner of Pinnacle Inc. in Benton and design/build contractor for the project, said they're constructing a two-story building totaling 23,781 square feet. He said crews began dirt work last week, stripping the top soil for placement of the compacted fill material for the building pad and parking lots. In addition, weather-permitting, he said the crews will work on a special area with stone laid for parking and walking for the groundbreaking ceremony so guests won't have to walk in mud.

Smith said the estimated construction completion date is May/June 2020, weather-permitting.

The site doesn't currently have utilities but Smith said West Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation (WKRECC) will extend power to the site by going under U.S. 641 from South Marshall Middle School. He said it will be a few months before the site has sewer and water but the company will secure temporary utilities to keep construction moving forward.

Kentucky Lake Economic Development President Josh Tubbs said the forward movement of the project at the Southwest One Industrial Park, which has already secured two tenants, is an accomplishment for the entire community of Marshall County.

"An overwhelming percentage of job creation and capital investment in communities comes from existing industries and that's why we must make business retention and expansion our priority initiative in economic development. This project is perfect in that we see an existing company expand while also seeing what is possible with new industry locations in Southwest One," he explained. "We are intentional now, more aggressive and ever confident in the story we tell about our people and our community. It is a new day for economic development in Marshall County and we are just getting started."