Why Keep Coming Back?

Do you find yourself repeatedly shopping at the same handful of places? I know I sure do. At one point I might have shopped at the same few places because they were in a convenient location, but now, with a plethora of options and the ease of online shopping, there are seemingly endless places for me to pick and choose where I want to shop. So if it’s not the location that keeps me coming back, then what is driving my loyalty to these stores?

While “shopping” for engineering or architectural services like ours is a little different than perusing the aisles of Target, there’s a reason that we celebrated our 13th annual client appreciation barbeque in Greenville this week – loyalty. A loyalty that’s built on much more than location. With new firms popping up almost as frequently as your local Starbucks, our clients certainly aren’t limited by the number of firms to choose from.

Having only worked for The Wooten Company for eight months, the parallel between my commitment to places like Target and our clients’ commitment to us struck me while I was sitting in my office. Dependability. Just like I know I can count on the stores I go to for great customer service, reasonable prices, and a great product, our clients know that they can depend on The Wooten Company to deliver the same.

The best part is, our clients know that our commitment to them is so much more than that. The Wooten Company prides itself on building real relationships with our clients, which is part of the reason the client appreciation barbeque was started. Our annual barbeque is based on our belief that good business is founded upon more than flashy advertising and empty promises; good business is founded on a genuine commitment to helping the communities you are a part of. With 80 years of experience behind us, we can confidently say that investing in our clients has served us just as much as it has them and we are excited about continuing to use one of our founding principles to grow and further support our valued clients. Our client appreciation barbeque is a simple way for us to give back to the clients that we are so thankful for!

Thank you to everyone who was able to make it, and to those who weren’t, we hope to see you next year, same time, and same place.

-Danielle Smith, Marketing Coordinator

The Wooten Company Opens New Winston-Salem Regional Office

Coinciding with celebrating our 80th anniversary this year, The Wooten Company has opened a new Regional Office in the Old Salem Historic District of downtown Winston-Salem, NC.

Overseen by Regional Manager John Grey, PE, this office was previously located in Asheboro, NC, from where it served the towns, cities and counties of the Piedmont over the past 18 years. While we will always look back on our time in Asheboro fondly, the move was initiated as we continue to grow amidst strong economic momentum in North Carolina. The City of Winston-Salem was chosen for our new location as it offers a centralized location along several primary transportation corridors, as well as amenities of all variety for its citizens to enjoy.

The Wooten Company has moved into the Lower Level Suite of this adapted Fire Station in the historic Old Salem neighborhood.

Vice-President, Gary Hartong, said of the move, “We are proud of our reputation for designing critical infrastructure that supports the exciting economic growth in our state, and are equally proud of the close personal relationships that our employees build with our clients. For this office, we sought after the Old Salem area for its proximity to a vibrant downtown, its immediacy to the sister City of Greensboro, and its unequaled access to both our metropolitan and rural clients so that we can provide them our engineering and construction administration services promptly and reliably.”

We are celebrating this milestone anniversary by investing heavily in our geographic coverage to better assist communities in the Carolinas and Virginia as they address today’s demands and prepare for future growth. Since 1936, we have proudly provided critical infrastructure engineering to support the health and happiness of the families who call these communities Home.

For more information on the services we provide from our new office located at 300 S Main Street, Lower Level Suite, in Winston-Salem, contact Regional Manager, John Grey, PE at jgrey@thewootencompany.com.

Building North Carolina’s Future with the Connect NC bond

Congratulations to North Carolina on the passing of the 2016 Connect NC Bond!

It’s been 15 years since the last general obligation bond was approved to upgrade North Carolina’s infrastructure and since then 2 million people have been added to our population. To keep up with this growth, voters overwhelmingly approved a $2 billion bond to provide statewide investments in education, parks, agriculture, safety, recreation, and water and sewer infrastructure. The bond will be structured through a 20-year debt instrument with no tax increases necessary to finance it. With historically low interest rates, Connect NC will not jeopardize our strong credit ratings and will pay for assets that will provide North Carolina with returns on its investment for generations to come!

As you can see in the chart below, the bond’s inclusive nature provides opportunities for each region in North Carolina. The statewide reach of the bond will ensure that North Carolina remains a state to which no other compares.

The Wooten Company is proud to have joined with the American Council of Engineering Companies of North Carolina in supporting the passing of this critical investment.  The Wooten Company looks forward to helping our clients across North Carolina in securing some of the Connect NC bond proceeds. The Wooten Company invites you to reach out to learn more about how you can take advantage of the buildings and infrastructure investment opportunities available to you. With over 80 years of experience working with schools, local government, and water and sewer authorities across North Carolina, The Wooten Company is completely equipped to help you with any bond proceeds.

Project Spotlight: Contentnea Metropolitan Sewerage District Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrades

On Thursday, February 18th, the Eastern Professional Wastewater Operators Committee (PWOC) was hosted by the Contentnea Metropolitan Sewerage District (CMSD) with a catered lunch from The Skylight Inn and provided by The Wooten Company. The lunch was followed by a tour of the District’s wastewater treatment plant led by Chuck Smithwick, District Manager, CMSD and Charlie Davis, P.E of The Wooten Company. We felt that this was a great excuse to showcase some of Mr. Smithwick and Mr. Davis’ hard work on this great project.

The CMSD plant began operation in 1976 as a 2.0 MGD facility and was recently expanded and upgraded to 3.5 MGD. The current plant includes screening, grit removal, 5-Stage BNR, tertiary filtration, and UV disinfection prior to its discharge to the Contentnea Creek. Aerobic sludge is dewatered with Huber Incline Screw Presses which is transported off-site for composting and also land applied (in liquid form) to CMSD owned land application sites.

The CMSD is comprised of Pitt and Lenoir Counties in North Carolina and maintains pump stations in Winterville, Ayden, along Highway 11 and in Grifton. A few years ago, the decision was made to perform improvements to these stations and also perform an upgrade to its 2.85 MGD wastewater plant.

For this, The Wooten Company provided a full range of engineering services that included a study and report phase, design, bidding and negotiation assistance, construction contract administration, construction observation and post-construction operation and maintenance training. The plant’s construction occurred in 3 phases over a 3 ½ year period and involved over $30 million dollars in grant/ loan funding from four separate funding agencies. The project included the design and installation of new influent headworks, denitrification filters, an Ultra-Violet disinfection system, a post-aeration system and all the necessary piping modifications for flexible and improved plant operation. Since the denitrification filter was placed online, the plant’s effluent Total Nitrogen (TN) has consistently averaged around 1 mg/l allowing CMSD to be well within their TN Discharge Limit of 32,000 lb/yr.

Additionally, the improvements required the construction of an effluent outfall for the discharge of effluent to the Contentnea Creek, a tributary of the nutrient-sensitive Neuse River. Mr. Davis and his staff provided grant administration for the Clean Water Management Trust Fund and NC Rural Center funding assistance for the project.

The Promise of a New Year

All things relative, 1936 was not all that long ago. In fact, many of us are fortunate to still spend holidays and the occasional Sunday brunch soaking up stories of “back in the day” with the parents and grandparents who remember these times well.

But as our world spins at a seemingly ever-increasing rate, 80 years ago can also look lightyears away from where we are today, overlooking the sunrise of 2016.

Consider some of the landmark occurrences that 1936 saw:

• The Hoover Dam was completed
• Joe DiMaggio made his Major League Baseball debut
• The doomed Hindenburg airship took its first flight
• The Volkswagen car company was created
• Italy joined the Axis Powers

These types of headlines, combined with a lingering depression and average yearly wages of around $1,713 mean it is often hard to imagine everyday life back then, let alone the business environment. But there was another headline in 1936 that, while not as monumental as some of those previously mentioned, we are quite proud of here at The Wooten Company, and that is the founding of our wonderful firm by its namesake, Louis E. Wooten himself.

As the story goes, the visionary Mr. Wooten saw amazing opportunity in the growing reliability of personal transportation and the development sprawl that it would enable, and so he went to work designing the electrification of rural communities across North Carolina and up the East Coast. To this day, 80 years after those first projects, we still embrace Mr. Wooten’s vision of bringing safe and reliable infrastructure to the communities that make up this great country. There has been no shortage of highs and lows along the way, but as we celebrate our 80th Anniversary this year, we couldn’t be prouder of who we are.

2016 promises to be an exciting year for The Wooten Company, with new leadership rising up from within, our newly developed Geomatics group hitting their stride and our expansion into South Carolina taking off as examples of just a few reasons why. One of our most valued characteristics for both our clients and employees is the close family atmosphere cultivated day after day here, and it is from this that these accomplishments are born.

Over the course of this year, we look forward to continuing to expand our geographic reach but also to standing by our long-time clients as we push together for smart growth by providing the funding assistance, studies, planning, design and construction management services essential to creating great places.

Thank you to everyone whose passion for the work we do made 2015 great, and stay tuned for what 2016 has in store.