A little over a year ago, industry stakeholders and state officials joined representatives of Dig Safely New York, Inc., on an empty 4-acre plot of land with a vision. On April 9, 2019, that vision has been realized as the doors to the future of safe excavation and underground damage prevention were opened.
Dig Safely New York representatives celebrated its grand opening ceremony of its new Center for Damage Prevention with its members, stakeholders, state officials, one-call center representatives from around the country, and Common Ground Alliance President Sarah Magruder Lyle.
The 21,000 square foot building was built to elevate what the one-call notification system has to offer the excavation industry and its members. This new facility will serve as a catalyst for economic growth to skilled laborers in the excavation industry.
“The timing for the Center for Damage Prevention couldn’t have happened soon enough,” said Kevin Hopper, Executive Director of Dig Safely New York, as he addressed the crowd of approximately 100 on April 9.
“New York’s everchanging landscape has had a significant impact on the excavation industry, and in turn, the one-call process, over the last decade. The aging infrastructure; increased state investments towards infrastructure maintenance, replacement, and new installations; as well as, general weather constraints in the state, have created an environment that demands skilled laborers across the industry … These problems, coupled with un- and undereducated excavators in safe digging best practices, present the greatest threat to our underground infrastructure in New York State.”
The new facility consists of a state-of-the-art one-call and training center to accommodate for the current and future growth of the organization, meet current and future industry needs, and further the reach and depth of education provided to industry professionals. With an indoor dig area, big enough to operate an excavator, the building will provide year-round access to classes, certifications, demonstrations, as well as be used as an indoor test bed for the research and development of damage prevention and damage detection technologies, underground facility locating technologies, smart infrastructure technologies, excavation technologies, and more.