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Valley Chevrolet to get a new look

Come this spring, there will be some highly visible activity happening at Valley Chevrolet. The dealership will undergo a major renovation, replacing its entire front and updating the interior with state-of-the-art equipment.

The facelift is being done because of a General Motors directive to make all Chevrolet dealerships uniform in appearance, explained Valley Chevrolet General Manager Tom Ward.

"So it's recognized by everyone who sees it," he said.

It will definitely be a noticeable change. According to Dakota County records, the building was originally constructed in 1985, and it's in need of an update, Ward said.

The most extensive work will be in the showroom area. The new showroom will be a rectangular shape rather than the existing five-sided room, and about twice the size. Inside will be a new customer lounge and refreshments area, an open parts retail counter where customers can go directly for new car parts and new sales offices. The design is meant to be customer friendly, Ward said.

The service portion of the building will also be updated, though not as extensively as the showroom. A completely enclosed service entrance is planned so customers can discuss their vehicle repairs without the noise of mechanical work distracting them. Technicians will get new equipment to work with, too. A car wash is also in the works, although that might not happen until after the main renovations are finished.

Construction is expected to begin after the ground frost is thawed in spring - May or maybe June, Ward said. It's uncertain just how long it will take to complete, however.

"Usually a project like this would take about five months," he said.

But because dealerships across the country are all working on the same project - and they all have to get their materials from the same suppliers - it's possible that delays could occur while waiting for materials.

The dealership is located on Highway 316 adjacent to the Hastings Civic Arena. Valley purchased the business, formerly known as Joe O'Brien Chevrolet, this fall.