LAKE PARK, GA (WALB) - The big Home Depot Distribution center in Lowndes county is open with 250 people on the job.
This is good economic news in a time when job growth is unusual. Even the governor was on hand for the grand opening today. The center will eventually employ 600 people.
"Today is when we can have the fun," says Brad Lofton, Executive Director of the Industrial Authority. "We've spent 18 months working on the technical aspects of doing the site selection process and supervising the construction."
Governor Sonny Perdue praised Home Depot, and spoke about the importance of the event.
"Every job is important, and the hundreds of jobs the Home Depot is bringing to the South Georgia, Lowndes County community are extremely significant any time, but particularly in this economy," said the governor.
The massive center will service 150 Home Depot stores throughout the southeast. The new facility is over 657,000 square feet, which equates to 11.5 football fields, or 50 olympic-size swimming pools.
The Home Depot chose to operate out of Lake park for two main reasons. "One, there's a geographic advantage in terms of a hub with transportation, with major highways," says Home Depot CEO Frank Blake. "But, I'd say, on top of that, it's the people. It's the communities--the support from the communities."
Instead of the traditional ribbon-cutting, the Home Depot held a more fitting board-cutting. The governor even walked away with an orange apron of his very own.
Governor Perdue commended the Lowndes County Industrial Authority for being so pro-active, and said they would spend part of the day discussing future projects.