New OXARC building

Under construction on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, the new 12,000-square-foot OXARC building in La Grande will give the business considerably more space.

LA GRANDE — OXARC will soon have a new home in a 12,000-square-foot facility being built next to Miller’s Home Center off of Island Avenue.

According to Jarod Teeter, project manager at Mike Becker General Contractor, the new building is expected to be completed by late September.

“We’re moving along right now, hoping we’ll be done by the end of September,” Teeter said. “This COVID thing has gotten things slowed down in terms of getting materials, but the weather has been super great. We haven’t had much rain, so we were able to get in early.”

OXARC, a Spokane-based and family-owned company, supplies construction, welding, chemical and fire services equipment. The new facility will include an expansive showroom, a loading dock and a higher capacity for material storage.

“We need a bigger facility, something that’s more effective for what we want to do,” Sean Louden, OXARC manager, said. “We’re expanding our steel and culvert pipe supply, so we need a bigger facility, and other avenues we want to do right now that we just don’t have the capacity for.”

The company has been expanding its resources in recent years and now has 20 locations and 300 employees across Idaho, Washington and Oregon.

“We’re going away from renting and going to owning,” Louden said. “We bought this property last August. We’re starting to duplicate the stores everywhere on properties that the company owns.”

The expanded building will be an upgrade from the much smaller OXARC location in Island City, which the business has lived in since 2005.

The La Grande management has been looking for a new location for five years, according to Louden.

The new facility will have a larger parking lot and more administrative offices. The store currently has five employees, which will likely increase with the new move.

With less than two months until completion, the main priority is working with subcontractors on inspections inside the building and working on trim on the outside of the building.

There have been few delays in the construction, according to Teeter.

“There’s a lack of drivers, just some shipping delays, but it’s been going pretty well,” he said. “We just hope we continue to receive shipments of materials.”

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