GVEC dedicates new lineman training facility


The Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative dedicated its new Lineman Training Facility on May 14 at the training site in Gonzales.

The facility was named in honor of the late Thomas A. Coor, former GVEC line superintendent in Seguin.

The dedication ceremony began with the posting of the colors by the Texas Honor Guard from HQ Starc in Austin. Master Sergeant Theresa Billeck-Zuniga, of the 249th MSB in Austin, sang the National Anthem. Todd Craven, GVEC crew foreman and pastor of Harwood Baptist Church, offered the invocation.

Welcoming guests to the dedication ceremony was GVEC President Lewis Borgfeld. Guests heard remarks by Gonzales Mayor and GVEC Engineering Field Services Superintendent Bobby O'Neal, Gonzales Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Barbara Hand and Gonzales County Judge David Bird.

Also on hand to offer comments was Mike Williams, president and CEO of Texas Electric Cooperatives Inc., the statewide electric cooperative association. The TEC Loss Control Program coordinates and conducts all of the training that takes place at the facility.

GVEC General Manager Marcus W. Pridgeon also spoke, thanking the GVEC board for its foresight and support in making the training facility a reality. The training field will be used by linemen throughout the state and nation to learn how to perform their jobs better and safer.

In honoring the namesake of the facility, Pridgeon talked about the positive impact that Coor had on the employees and membership of GVEC. A commemorative plaque, which marks the entrance to the facility, sums up his words. It reads: "THOMAS A. COOR -- 1926-1988. This Lineman Training Facility is dedicated to the memory of Thomas A. Coor, longtime employee in the GVEC Seguin office. Coor served for many years as line sSuperintendent and earned the admiration and respect of the membership and employees of GVEC. His exemplary leadership continues to be an inspiration."

Sharon Carley, one of Coor's two daughters, spoke to the crowd on behalf of the family. She thanked GVEC and its board for the honor they had bestowed on her father by naming the facility after him. She said her father would have been proud of the facility because he believed so strongly in continuing education for the linemen who worked for him. She referred to her father as a serious man who was dedicated to his job and the cooperative and who was smiling down on the dedication ceremony that day.

Guests spent the remainder of the evening visiting, enjoying refreshments and watching lineman demonstrations by GVEC crews.

The GVEC Lineman Training Facility is located on Farm Road 794 just north of Gonzales. It consists of a covered pavilion, a 50-pole overhead training field and an underground training area. The facility is used for training in all aspects of electric line work, including overhead and underground electric lines, transformers, equipment operation, accident investigation, hurt-man rescue and troubleshooting.

Training schools are scheduled for later this year, in July and September, one of which will bring more than 100 men and women into the Gonzales area for a week-long class.