And I'm Lisa Klein.
It has been one year since a fire destroyed half of
Organic Valley's headquarters in La Farge.
It took 11 fire departments nearly 18 hours to put
out the fire.
but not before the west end of the building was lost
the company has been working to get back to a new
And today they took one of the final steps toward
News Eight's Kyle Dimke was in La Farge today and
took a tour of the new complex.
Mike and Lisa .
Employees told me they feel like they're coming home
because today they were finally able to work in their
new offices on the west end of the building.
The rebuild was 50 thousand square feet .
and cost around 12 million dollars.
But through it all .
the company says they found a silver lining.
One year after the fire .
things at Organic Valley are finally *growing* back
SJ:36: so this area we're walking through, this is
our West section of the building.
The fire actually broke out in the west side.
This side of the building had to be completely torn
down and rebuilt.
Employees began moving into their new offices Tuesday...
and for Jerry McGeorge .
being back in *his* office felt good.
JM :05: It kind of feels like coming home.
McGeorge says 2013 was a tough year for Organic Valley...
and says the fire gave the company a chance see things
JM :40: We really had an opportunity to look at what
we had and were there ways to improve it, and I think
we have made some improvements.
And while it's most noticeable in the physical structure.
the overall business also found a way to find new
life rising from the ashes...
JM :13: As a business grows sometimes you build up
these silos, these walls, between areas of the business.
I think the fire really challenged us to look at how
we get beyond those things.
SJ:25: if you would have been here the day after the
fire this would have all been what was completely
One year later .
and even after the project is finished .
there is still a daily reminder of what used to be.
NATS Clip 5: It adds character.
It does add character.
But employees hope those reminders will soon be distant
as they look to the future.
JM :15 : There is still going to be a little time
to get back to quote normal, but we're well on our
Firefighters had trouble putting out the fire because
of solar panels on the roof of the building.
McGeorge says the new building has added fire protection
and Organic Valley decided not to put solar panels
back on the roof.
They are looking at adding more panels somewhere on
the ground instead.
Some employees were able to move into offices in the
center part of the building in February.
Organic Valley added a 2 thousand square foot workout
facility to the new building as well.