Rick McKnight talks to one of his workers as his job at the Wal-Mart SuperCenter winds down Wednesday afternoon. McKnight's company, American Construction, built the front entrance as well as did the framing and Cornish trim across the building's roof.

Photo by Collin Smith

Rick McKnight talks to one of his workers as his job at the Wal-Mart SuperCenter winds down Wednesday afternoon. McKnight's company, American Construction, built the front entrance as well as did the framing and Cornish trim across the building's roof.

Wal-Mart enters final stages

Corporation nearing end of primary construction, hiring in preparation for Nov. 7 opening

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— Wal-Mart is in the final stages of primary construction and hiring in preparation for tentative plans to open its SuperCenter store Nov. 7.

The corporation plans to assume possession the first week of October, store manager Lou Groff said. That is when shelving and other store items such as registers and counters will be installed.

"All of our associates will go in and set up the store as a family and a Wal-Mart team," Groff said.

Wal-Mart employees will get paid for time spent helping establish the store, which means they start work and start earning pay before the grand opening, Groff said.

People interested in pursuing employment opportunities at Wal-Mart can go through the Centennial Mall east entrance and look to their left.

In mid-August, Wal-Mart opened its own hiring center in the mall after taking applications through the Colorado Workforce Center this summer.

As of Wednesday, the store had filled just more than 50 percent of its openings, Groff said. All store management positions have been filled, mostly by Wal-Mart employees from elsewhere in Colorado.

"A lot of us come from Colorado," Groff said. "That just has to do with us wanting to stay in local communities and our love for the state of Colorado."

The store is slated to stock a full line of groceries, including frozen foods, dairy, a deli and a bakery. In addition, customers can expect apparel and the chain's full array of hard line items, including house wares, furniture, a garden center and hunting equipment.

However, the store will not carry firearms immediately after it opens, Groff said.

"Right now, we're just real proud to be a part of this community for the simple fact that we've received more than enough applications to fill all our positions," Groff added. "We're all excited to be an asset to the community."

Rick McKnight and his workers at American Construction are nearing the end of their job in primary construction at the Wal-Mart SuperCenter.

For the past nine weeks, Amer-ican Construction has put up the framing, hung the sheetrock, built the front entrance and added the Cornish trim. Now the job is about finished, and McKnight thinks it looks good.

"We're winding down now," McKnight said. "Just a few more hours and we'll be done."

McKnight also works out of Steamboat Springs with a partner under the banner of Ottofly Enterprises. It is also a contracting firm, and has been building the Marabou fly-fishing resort and subdivision.

McKnight moved here six years ago and already sees the changes.

"It's been kind of slow changes, but now it's all going to be rapid changes," he said. "There are a lot of things happening. Wal-Mart brings a lot with them."

As a permanent resident, McKnight is not worried about Wal-Mart adversely affecting local businesses. He feels the opposite.

"It doesn't concern me whatsoever," McKnight said. "Wal-Mart doesn't bring anything but more businesses to town. This is only my third job (in Craig) in six years. Everything I do is in Steamboat. That might be changing now."

Collin Smith can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or cesmith@craigdailypress.com

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