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Valley Chevrolet gets a facelift

Hastings' local Chevrolet dealer has a new look. Work to rebuild the main portion of the dealership is nearly finished.

Crews started gutting the old showroom, which was the original 1985 construction, last August. The old showroom was razed, leaving only the automotive service department standing last fall. Work has been under way over the past fall and winter.

Rebuilding the old showroom was a directive that came to Valley Chevrolet from General Motors. GM wanted all its dealers to look the same, explained Valley Chevrolet's general manager, Tom Ward. The former structure wouldn't have supported all the changes, so the decision was made to tear it down and build new.

Just north of Hastings, another GM dealer, Valley GMC Buick, is finishing up a less intensive remodeling project, also to meet GM's directive.

Work on the interior of the new Valley Chevrolet building finished up about two weeks ago.

"For customers, it's ready to go," Ward said.

Only a few projects are left to finish, a few of which have to wait until spring. Once weather allows, painting will be done and new asphalt put in.

A lot of people don't realize the new building is open, but those who have stopped in have been "pleased as punch," Ward said. Because it's so similar to all the other GM dealerships - or at least it will be when they're all remodeled - customers feel more familiar with GM dealers, he said.

"We think they'll be more comfortable in the more modern building," he said.

The new building includes 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, an enclosed service entrance, new restrooms, modern equipment and more.

A grand opening is being scheduled toward the end of March or early April so the public has an opportunity to see the new building.

"We're anxious for the people of Hastings and surrounding area to come and see it," Ward said.