Changes are happening in Southeast Idaho. And the changes are moving the city towards a state of wellness. Electrical Construction & Sales Partner, along with IBEW Local 449, have brought the Portneuf Wellness Complex to Pocatello, ID.

The Wellness Complex has 11 full size sports fields, 2 basketball courts, volleyball pits, a mountain bike park, running paths, a playground, and a state of the art amphitheater that overlooks a 7-acre lake with a swimming beach as well as fishing access. Such a big facility means big electrical needs as well.

See for yourself in this edition of IBEW Hour Power.

To download this video, click here.


Transcript – Portneuf Wellness Complex

Hi I’m Erica McClaugherty and welcome to another edition of hour power. I’m in Pocatello Idaho checking out the new wellness complex. This facility will serve not only to enhance but also to improve the health of the people living here in Pocatello and Southeast Idaho. And it couldn’t have been done without Local 449.

Here at Portneuf Wellness Complex, people gather every day to exercise, play in a game, or just to take a break and get some fresh air.

This town had nothing like this before. And it all started when Portneuf Health Trust, an organization whose mission to enhance and improve health in the area, decided it wanted to give back to the community…in a big way.

Sean Menchaca Sean Menchaca – President/CEO, Portneuf Health Trust Inc. “Several years ago we met with gateway to health and we were trying to figure out what would make a difference in this community and we decided to do what our mother told us… exercise. That will make a bigger impact in health than any other invention. It improves everything and really all activities of our life.”

So the Portneuf Health Trust decided to give a gift back to Bannock County, a $15 million wellness complex.

It has 11 full size sports fields, 2 basketball courts, volleyball pits, a mountain bike park, running paths, a playground, and a state of the art amphitheater that overlooks a 7-acre lake with a swimming beach as well as fishing access.

And with such big plans to make this place perfect, they called on contractor Electrical Construction & Sales, which in turn hired Local 449 for the job.Ken Bielenberg

Ken Bielenberg – Electrical Construction & Sales Partner “This company was started in 64 as a union contractor and I bought into the company in 2002 and was partners with one of the original owners and when I bought in we were union and we remained union.”

Rodney James – Business Manager, Local 449 “The relationship that Rodney Jameselectric construction sales has built around the community they have put a lot of our members to work.”

Ken Bielenberg – Electrical Construction & Sales Partner “The nice part about being a union contractor is they are just a phone call away. And when I do get an electrician or an apprentice I know they are qualified to do the job.”

The biggest part of this job was phase one.

Ken Bielenberg – Electrical Construction & Sales Partner “We did the entire electrical system for the project starting with all the underground. 16 months ago they started digging we started excavating right behind to get all the light pole bases in, score boards, all the communications out to the road. All the electrical to the pump house to the lake all the irrigation and concession stands.”Brian Payne

Brian Payne – Journeyman, Local 449 “Some of the challenges I faced with this job was getting our compaction test as far as the soil it was different every couple of feet you dug so our test compaction was the main challenge on this project and it was miles and miles of underground conduit.”

Ken Bielenberg – Electrical Construction & Sales Partner “The most challenging part of this project has been all the excavation we have had 11 miles of underground PVC. We have had 5-6 miles of excavation.

Rodney James – Business Manager, Local 449 “The most challenging part was the elements. As you can see it’s all outside so the heat of the summer the cold of the winter, it did take quite a while to get the project done. It’s the outside elements that they are dealing with everyday.”

Local 449 has been on this job for about a year and a half and has wrapped up the 2nd phase, which included the amphitheater, stage lights, and concert concessions.

Open just a few months, the Wellness Complex is already proving to be popular both to work out and hang out.

Dan CopelandDan Copeland – Director, Bannock County Public Works “As soon as this facility opened it was full, people are here all the time. You can come up here on weekends and people are out here every morning walking or biking around, people are enjoying it.”

Rodney James – Business Manager, Local 449 “I’ve already been to a concert here, the first one! It’s really great, great for our community and great work for our local.”

And while the benefits of the new center will be felt for years by the people of southeast Idaho, just the chance to work on it has proven to be a life changer for one new members of Local 449. Tanner Morrissey was bussing tables before he got his chance to work on this high profile new project.

Tanner Morrissey – 1st Year Apprentice, Local 449 “I was bussing tables at a local restaurant and the contractor I was Tanner Morrisseyworking for asked me to be a laborer and I came out and ended up digging trenches. He ended up talking me into joining the apprenticeship, so I got in July of last year and it all kind of went from there.”

Tanner Morrissey – 1st Year Apprentice, Local 449 “Extreme life change, where I was at I wasn’t doing much and this is a career and so it was kind of a wake up call for me. I like it, it’s awesome. I like that every day I learn something new. Everything from pulling wire to hooking up lights, this amphitheater it was all at once for me.”

And the brotherhood…no matter what job you are on, or how long you have been in the IBEW, it seems to always be an unbroken bond.

Tanner Morrissey – 1st Year Apprentice, Local 449 “Since I’ve started everybody I have met has been more like family than friends. It’s called the brotherhood and they actually are like my brothers. My journeyman and contractor I work for helped me become a better person and be in a better place in my life than when I first started out and I feel like I owe a lot to the IBEW and the brotherhood itself because they are all such good people.”

It turns out that “wellness” can indeed have many meanings for the people of Pocatello and for Tanner Morrissey. Reporting for IBEW Hour Power, I’m Erica McClaugherty.


Rhiannon Manzi

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