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Midvale • Natural light flooded the spanking new heavy-duty maintenance shop Monday as Salt Lake County officials assembled for a ribbon cutting officially opening the $9.4 million fleet facility.

Twice the size of a football field and with a roof up to 31 feet high, the cinder-block building looked scrubbed clean as Mayor Ben McAdams and others praised its energy-efficient features and stylish design, complete with the delivery of hydraulic oil, anti-freeze and pressurized air through hoses hanging along support pillars among the 22 bays.

This facility at 7125 S. 600 West is more than just attractive, McAdams insisted. It's designed and built to withstand an earthquake or some other natural calamity to help ensure that the county's heaviest equipment can respond to the disaster.

"Even in the event of a catastrophe this building will enable the good men and women of Salt Lake County to keep serving the public," McAdams said. "When disaster strikes — and we know it will — these [fleet] vehicles will be put to use … repairing traffic signals, picking up tree limbs, providing services crucial to restoring safety to residents."

Importantly, he and County Councilman Jim Bradley said, the fleet facility's spacious work stations will be available to multiple cities and agencies within the valley, accentuating the county's growing perception of its role as a provider of regional services.

That multi-agency approach was evident Monday as the maintenance shop's bays included four University of Utah campus shuttle buses, a couple of Wasatch Front Waste and Recycling District garbage trucks and a Red Butte Gardens bus, along with heavy duty county trucks.

Having all of this contract work is allowing the county to add a swing shift at the shop, accelerating repairs so agencies can get trucks back onto the streets as quickly as possible, said fleet management director Greg Nuzman.

Architect Kevin Blalock said he hoped to create a "Jiffy Lube on steroids" for fleet maintenance's "artists in blue," referring to the mechanics' clothing. "This is their work space and their playground."

Ascent Construction built the facility, whose heated floors "heat the area where people are instead of the atmosphere" above their heads, Nuzman said.

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