Harchelroad Motors demolishing shop to make way for new one
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
After months of planning and preparation, the shop facility at Harchelroad Motors’ Imperial location will be coming down.
Demolition of the shop was scheduled to begin Tuesday afternoon.
The shop will go down to make way for an even larger shop facility for the General Motors dealer.
In order to gain more room for the facility, Harchelroads purchased an additional 25 feet from First Bank & Trust. This property was located just north of the present shop, between the two businesses.
With the additional 25 feet, the shop building will be 80 feet by 149 feet, resulting in nearly 12,000 square feet of space.
C and S Construction of Madrid will serve as the general contractor with Koellner Enterprises assisting.
Sid Harchelroad, co-owner and manager of the Imperial location, said the expansion will better enable them to serve the needs of their customers.
The new shop will create more room for work bays and increase efficiency of the operation, Harchelroad noted.
If the weather cooperates, he’s hoping the project will be done by around the first of next year.
The shop building will be a steel structure and the entire front of the store will get a new makeover, to match their covered showroom building across the street west.
Harchelroad said they will add glass doors to the front of the present showroom to bring in floor models for display.
Access to the showroom was previously gained through the shop area.
The covered showroom building across the street will be used for temporary shop quarters for minor service work.
Harchelroad said they moved equipment from the shop last week, including four hoists that will be used during the transition period.
Any major service work that needs to be completed will be done in their shop facility at the company’s Wauneta store.
Building originally built in 1940s
Harchelroad said they’ve talked to many locals trying to determine when the shop building was originally built, guessing somewhere in the mid-1940s.
In examining back issues of The Imperial Republican, Leech Chevrolet moved into the new building in May, 1945.
In addition to the Chevy dealership, Hugh Leech also carried several lines of farm equipment.
Over the years, the original building has been added on to, for showroom, office and shop space.