Word on the Street: Clovis construction begins at Future Ford

FresnoApril 20, 2014 

More than two years after a fire ravaged the service department at Future Ford in Clovis, contractors are getting started on a new building.

The 42,000-square-foot building is going up behind the dealership on Shaw Avenue between Highway 168 and Willow Avenue. The store will remain open during the work.

The new facility is expected to be done by the end of this year, Future Ford general manager Randy Skates said. It will include sales, parts and service departments. Once the new building is up and running, the old facility will be demolished.

The December 2011 fire sent up a plume of thick black smoke that could be seen for miles and caused more than $1.5 million in damage to the old service building and its contents, including 14 cars that were in the shop for service.

The two-alarm fire happened late on a Friday afternoon, and spread through the 100,000- square-foot building because firefighters were blocked by heavy traffic in the afternoon commute. More than 40 firefighters from Clovis and Fresno fought the fire for more than an hour before bringing it under control.

No one was hurt in the blaze.

Since the fire, Skates said the dealership was able to keep up with customers' service demands at its adjacent Kia dealership as well as at a fleet center that the dealership bought last year along Clovis Avenue. Skates said he was grateful to Hedricks Chevrolet, across Shaw Avenue from Future Ford, for allowing the Ford store to use several of its service bays in the wake of the fire.

Green makeover

Yosemite Lodge at the Falls recently finished a $10 million renovation of its lobby and guest rooms.

The hotel at the base of Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park is operated by Delaware North Companies. It was originally built in 1915 and has been updated twice.

This time, the rooms got new carpet, bathroom tiles and energy-efficient flat-screen televisions. They also got a fresh coat of paint and feature Yosemite-themed artwork by local photographers. Lighting was upgraded with steel wall sconces, and lamps using energy-efficient bulbs.

The materials in the renovation are ecologically friendly. Furniture is made from Midwestern hickory saplings, a renewable form of wood in which the trees continually resprout from stumps. The bathrooms feature refillable dispensers instead of shampoo and conditioner bottles. The toilets and bathroom fixtures are designed to conserve water.

Job fair Thursday

MB2 Raceway, which plans a spring opening of its indoor kart facility at Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis, has scheduled a job fair Thursday.

The mall says the indoor kart racing facility is hiring front counter/party hosts, track crew, mechanics and part-time managers. Thursday's job fair will be from 3 to 8 p.m. in the mall's community room, just east of Kohl's.

Applications will be available at the job fair.

Details: MB2 Raceway Clovis/Fresno on Facebook.

 

Tim Sheehan and Bethany Clough contributed to Word on the Street. It was compiled by Clough. The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6431 or bclough@fresnobee.com.

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