WEST LAWRENCE, Kansas -- Grocery retailer Hy-Vee opened a new gas station and convenience store in West Lawrence, Kansas, on August 30, reported The Lawrence Journal-World. It is the first gold-level Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED)-certified c-store in Lawrence and the first for the Hy-Vee corporation.
The certification means the company is taking extra steps to ensure the store is environmentally friendly.
"The company has been looking for a place to test this type of format, and we thought Lawrence was the perfect fit," Andrew Yochum, the store director for the Hy-Vee site, told the newspaper.
Among the features built into the store are solar panels atop the canopy covering the station's gas pumps, a rooftop rain collection system that will store water that will be used to operate the store's toilets, concrete floors that don't require wax or other chemicals to clean, LED lighting and skylights that are expected to cut down on the store's energy usage, landscaping beds that use native plants that require very little watering and a grass lawn planted with buffalo grass instead of standard fescue.
The buffalo grass is expected to use so little water that the store was allowed to be built without an irrigation system, the report said.
Yochum said Hy-Vee officials are optimistic the store will be a significant money-saver on utility bills. "On a sunny day, the skylights pretty much will light the store," he said. "Any retail store that has the amount of refrigeration or electronics that we use requires a lot of energy. I'm real interested in seeing what we can do about that."
The facility will have 16 fueling stations and a 3,200-square-foot c-store. Yochum said the store will have the feel of a Hy-Vee grocery store because the c-store actually will be managed as a department of Hy-Vee's grocery store.
Yochum said that means the store will feature salads, sandwiches and bakery items from the nearby grocery store each day.
"We think the amount of fresh food in the store will surprise people," he said.
It also will allow people to take their Hy-Vee grocery receipts to the c-store to receive discounts on gasoline, the report said.
Hy-Vee is increasing its Lawrence workforce by three full-time employees and 12 part-time employees to operate the store — which will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. but will feature 24-hour fueling.