Anyone doing business with Washington County Public Works, including the county's parks, transportation, and survey and land management staff, may return to seeing county staff in the county's North Shop at 11660 Myeron Road N. in Stillwater Township. The North Shop has been undergoing renovation and expansion for the past 18 months. A public open house for the building will be Saturday, Aug. 20.

This is the primary facility for maintaining the more than 300 miles of county highways, 100 traffic signals, and 600 vehicles in the county fleet.

The project replaces a 50-year-old building through remodeling, reconstruction, and construction of new space. The building exceeds state sustainability standards and is the first county building using 100 percent light-emitting diode (LED) lighting. Upgrades also include: a heat recovery system to use warm air from the building to preheat cold, fresh air in winter; in-floor heating with high efficiency boilers to melt snow and ice from trucks needing repair; an energy efficient roof with a 30-year warranty; stormwater treatment ponds to treat all water before leaving the site; the construction of a sewer to the City of Stillwater, eliminating the on-site septic system; and an indoor wash room to clean salt and sand from trucks so the water can be captured and treated.

Customer service to the public is also improved with a new service counter, convenient conference rooms to meet with staff, and public restrooms for those using the nearby Gateway Trail.