Miller Valentine Construction has begun work on the next evolution of the AES Smart Operations Center at MacGregor Park in Dayton, Ohio.

Completed in 2021, the 75,000-square-foot Smart Operations Center is the first of its kind in the U.S. The center integrates technology and operations in a way that is transforming how electricity is managed and monitored across the country.

Now Miller Valentine is preparing to renovate 20,000 square feet of office space and a below-grade garage in one of the campus’s wings. The scope of work includes the addition of two data centers and a secondary electric service. The remaining area will be repurposed into offices and workspaces. The project will enable AES to further consolidate its Dayton operations by bringing its Transmission and Distribution Operations Center (TDOC) to the MacGregor Park campus.

“We are thrilled to once again partner with AES as they continue to transform their operations for a new, digital era,” said Kassie Holmes, Project Manager for Miller Valentine. “Months of close collaboration with the owner team, the design team, and our trade partners have laid the groundwork for a productive and smoothly run project.”

One of the biggest and earliest challenges the team needed to overcome was logistics. An integral part of AES’ global operations, the MacGregor Park campus is a 24/7, always-on facility. It is imperative there is no disruption of service in this area.. The site also has strict security requirements. For these reasons, the project team would have little or no access to the center’s public areas, including the elevator and stairwells.

The project team worked closely with the owner to map out the most efficient way to move people, equipment, and supplies with minimal impact on the campus. The team will install a temporary stairwell for the area and a system for lifting materials and equipment from ground level to a second-floor patio. All contractors will also be required to have the proper credentials for working in AES’ high-security area.

“We are looking forward to hitting the ball out of the park in terms of the owner’s goals and expectations,” said Kassie. “We appreciate AES’ trust in our team, and we intend to keep their trust by building certainty.”

Other members of the project team include Champlin Architects, Heapy Engineering, and THP.