Business news in brief

Museum of Idaho selects contractor

The Museum of Idaho has selected Idaho Falls-based construction company Bateman-Hall as the construction manager/general contractor for the museum’s planned expansion.

Construction on the museum’s planned 26,566-square-foot expansion is scheduled to begin by spring 2018, with a groundbreaking ceremony tentatively scheduled for later this year, a museum news release said.

The expansion is estimated to cost $3.95 million and the museum has secured about $4.18 million toward the costs of construction.

The expansion, which will almost double the size of the current facility, will house a new education center and traveling exhibit space, freeing up the current space for an expansive new cultural and environmental history exhibit called “The Idaho Experience,” the release said. Idaho Falls-based architecture firm Alderson, Karst & Mitro also is working on the museum’s expansion.

Bateman Hall is one of Idaho’s largest construction companies and operates in 14 Western states, the release said.

The Museum of Idaho is a private, nonprofit organization. For information, go to museumofidaho.org.

Cable One donates to Ammon Elementary

Cable One is donating 50 Chromebook computers worth an estimated $10,000 to first- and second-graders at Ammon Elementary School.

Cable One, which offers high-speed internet, cable television and telephone service, is presenting the Chromebooks during a special event at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the school, a Cable One news release said.

The Cable One Cares initiative, now in its fourth year, is designed to improve student access to technology in schools, the release said. The program provides Chromebooks to Title I schools in the markets it serves.

Steve Fox, Cable One’s senior vice president and chief network officer, said in the release that access to technology in schools is “no longer a luxury, but a necessity,” and that donating Chromebooks to Title I schools will help bridge the digital divide in schools that lack funding.

“While many school systems are taking big steps and working to give every student and every teacher access to the technology and tools they need to learn, not all schools have access to funding to support this effort,” Fox said in the release. “Because we believe so strongly in improving education through the use of technology, we want to do our part to support the communities where we live and work.”

Ammon Elementary School Principal John Murdoch said in the release that the school plans to use the Chromebooks to provide reading and math intervention for first- and second-grade students.

“Students love working with technology,” Murdoch said in the release. “I expect students to be more engaged for longer periods of time in their lessons that involve the Chromebooks. The Chromebooks will also have a direct impact on skills that they use to further their learning and education. A direct result will be improved test scores and increasing numbers of students who meet grade level goals.”

United Way campaign kickoff is Thursday

Area businesses will gather Thursday at Snake River Landing to help the United Way of Idaho Falls and Bonneville County begin its 2018 campaign.

A kickoff breakfast will be held at 8 a.m. at the Waterfront Events Center, 1220 Event Center Drive. It’s the first such event for United Way’s local Chief Executive Officer Christina Wiersema, a United Way of Idaho Falls and Bonneville County news release said.

“We hold this event to help people understand the importance of United Way,” Wiersema said in the release. “United Way is all about making our area a better place to live, for everyone. … United Way and its agencies help to coordinate the people, materials, and systems needed to help all of our neighbors receive a quality education that can lead to a stable job and enough income to support a family.”

The local United Way plays an important role in Idaho Falls and the seven-county region where its agencies provide charitable services to residents in need of assistance, the release said.

The United Way of Idaho Falls and Bonneville County is starting a two-year process to become an agency that aligns local resources to help support residents who work hard but still lack enough funds to afford basic needs, such as housing, child care, food, transportation and health care, the release said.

The organization’s new direction is guided in part by United Way’s Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed Study or ALICE, Wiersema said in the release. The ALICE Project is a collaborative effort to improve the lives of vulnerable, low-income ALICE households.

ALICE is a United Way project in 14 states, including Idaho.

For information, contact John Howze by phone at 208-522-2674 or by email at jhowze@unitedwayif.org.

Premier Eye Care opens in new location

Premier Eye Care of Eastern Idaho has moved and will hold an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. The event will include office tours and giveaways, including a new iPad. The practice is relocating from a 3,000-square-foot facility on 17th Street to an 11,000-square-foot office at 2100 Providence Way. The move enabled the business to add and upgrade testing equipment, a Premier Eye Care news release said. The move also allowed the practice to hire additional staff and reduce patient wait times by allowing them to stay in one room longer during testing and exams, the release said.

Dr. Kyle Thompson, a vitreoretinal specialist with the practice, said in the release that Premier Eye Care simply outgrew its former office.

For information, go to premieridaho.com.

Deseret Book moves to new I.F. location

Deseret Book has moved to 750 Pioneer Road in Idaho Falls next to Walmart and Panda Express.

It previously operated for 13 years at its former 950 Memorial Drive location, a store news release said. Before that it was Beehive Book for more than 20 years, the release said.

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