Butler Electric Cooperative (BEC) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, August 11 to commemorate the opening of their new building at 216 S. Vine St. in El Dorado. BEC employees moved into their new offices in May this year.

The old BEC offices, which were located on the north end of the same building, were 60-62 years old and had structural deficiencies. The front office was demolished, and the other ones were gutted and converted into warehouse space. The newly constructed building is located on the south end of existing building.

The new building has 9,500 square feet, compared to 6,500 square feet in the old building.

"Which allows for some growth into the future," Ben Whiteside, vice president of Administration and Finance at BEC, said.

The new building is safer all-around. Access is significantly more restricted than at the old offices, and there's also a tornado shelter for employees now.

"It provides a much safer environment," Whiteside said.

Whiteside led discussions and planning for BEC with the architects of the new building. Plans for the new building project started gaining traction in December 2015, and construction was started in September 2016.

"It's a much more efficient in design and layout," Whiteside said.

BEC provides electric services, propane services and satellite internet access and service in Butler County.