Arvig unveils its new headquarters in Perham – Perham Focus


PERHAM — Arvig’s head office renovation project in Perham town center is nearing completion. With only some work to do on the third floor, the building is now open to employees and customers.

“It’s a beautiful building,” said Rachel Laudenbach, Arvig’s chief marketing officer. “Everyone seems to be enjoying it. People are enjoying the sunlight.”

When Arvig began rebuilding its offices and client spaces at 150 Second Street SW about two years ago, one of the company’s goals was to bring in as much sunlight as possible. Now there are large windows throughout the building – some that span from floor to ceiling, and even some in the basement, which previously didn’t have much natural light.

To allow sunlight to flow throughout the building, glass has been heavily integrated into the interior design, from the tops of employee cubicles to the walls of some private office spaces and conference rooms.

The windows are electrochromic, which means they are programmed to darken or lighten as needed.

“So the windows are very nice because if the sunlight is really high, it doesn’t glare all the computers,” Laudenbach explained.

Due to the electrochromic windows, the Arvig Building is a flagship project for Otter Tail Power Company and Geo Optimize.

Arvig wanted the entrance to the newly renovated building to be comfortable, with chairs, rugs and large windows.

Elisabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

The Don Swenson Boardroom is where quarterly meetings for all employees are held. The venue is now twice as large as it was before and features state of the art video and audio equipment.

Elisabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

Another energy efficient upgrade to the building is the lighting system. All of Arvig’s LED lights work using occupancy sensors, which means they will turn off if someone isn’t in the space for a while. There is also a white roofing membrane which reflects and reduces solar heat gain from the building in the summer. These features help the building exceed its insulation energy code by more than 15%.

The commercial space, designed for Arvig’s customer service and open to the public, was designed for comfort, almost resembling a living room. Sofas, armchairs, booths, and other seating options are placed throughout the space, next to tall windows and under a high open ceiling. Reception is right through the main glass doors under the large outdoor Arvig sign, and the entire area is wheelchair accessible.

Kasota stone panels surround the building’s exterior, lobby, and elevator. Mined in southern Minnesota, the stone is the same as that used at Target Field in Minneapolis.

In the future, Arvig also hopes to have a space for customers to walk through and deposit payments without having to stop inside. This part of the project is not yet complete.

Arvig wanted to bring in more natural light with its renovation, and many of the new windows extend from floor to ceiling.

Elisabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

Arvig wanted to increase the overall size of his building with this project and added about 24,000 square feet, bringing the building to about 74,000 square feet in total (large enough to cover a city block, if it were one level). The new square footage includes a patio, where employees can sit outside during their lunch or other breaks, and an expanded indoor break room, as well as a larger employee meeting room .

“It’s super nice for the employees,” Laudenbach said of the break room upgrades. “They put a lot of thought and effort into it because our other break room was quite small. Now we have this beautiful place. People can sit by the fire and relax.”

There’s a new fireplace in the break room, as well as televisions, plenty of seating, and a kitchen area with multiple sinks and microwaves, ice maker, and larger refrigerator.

“The ice machine was the most requested thing by employees — crushed ice and having plenty of it,” Laudenbach explained. “So that was a very big problem with (the reconstruction).”

The Don Swenson Conference Room, which hosts all-staff meetings, is about twice as large as before. With screens for employees to join while out of state and microphones suspended from the ceiling, the room is complete with what Laudenbach describes as state-of-the-art video and audio equipment.

This new rest room is much larger than the previous one, with new features such as a fireplace and televisions.

Elisabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

The new break room has multiple microwaves and sinks, as well as a large refrigerator.

Elisabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

In addition to the larger spaces, there’s also a new game room — complete with arcade games — where employees can let off steam and relax during their breaks. To the side of this room is exercise equipment for anyone who wants to work out. The space is also complete with seating and tables for work areas.

“It invites people to come in, you know, and relax,” Laudenbach explained. “They can actually work here if they want to relax and look out of these windows.”

Arvig also added coffee stations throughout the building in the busiest central areas. The bathrooms are also centrally located, with everything being touchless, for safety reasons.

The entire rebuild was completed with employee safety and security in mind, Laudenbach said. Key cards are required to enter various employee spaces throughout the building, and there are additional security cameras to monitor hallways and rooms.

A new play area has been set up for Arvig employees to relax and let off steam during their breaks.

Elisabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

Arvig’s Operations Center, located across from Arvig’s newly renovated office spaces, was recently demolished for total reconstruction. Company executives expect the project to be completed in 2023.

Elisabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

Arvig’s operations center in Perham, located opposite Arvig’s head office, was recently demolished for total reconstruction. It will be redone and, according to business leaders, completed by 2023. In the meantime, employees who would normally work in the operations center are instead working from the newly renovated head office.

“We appreciate the patience (of the community),” Laudenbach said.

She pointed out that members of the community are encouraged to stop at the commercial entrance to Arvig to view the space.

Arvig is a Perham-based telecommunications company with 27 data centers within its network and over 14,500 miles of fiber optic through which it provides services to other telecommunications companies, wireless operators and more than 54,000 Internet customers in more than half of Minnesota’s counties.

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