West Lawrence motorists will get a new option for gasoline purchases on Thursday, and they may get a glimpse at the future of how convenience stores are built too.
Hy-Vee is set to open its new gasoline station and convenience store at the corner of Clinton Parkway and Crossgate Drive at 6 a.m. on Thursday. When it opens, it will become the first gold-level LEED certified convenience store in Lawrence and the first for the Hy-Vee corporation anywhere.
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,” said Andrew Yochum, the store director for the Hy-Vee at 3504 Clinton Parkway, which will oversee the convenience store.
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.
• A grass lawn planted with buffalo grass instead of standard fescue. Yochum said the buffalo grass is expected to use so little water that the store was allowed to be built without an irrigation system.
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,” Yochum 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.”
Lawrence motorists likely are interested in seeing what it will be like to have a convenience store along busy Clinton Parkway. The store will become the first convenience store on Clinton Parkway between Iowa and Wakarusa.
The facility will have 16 fueling stations and a 3,200-square-foot convenience store. Yochum said the store will have the feel of a Hy-Vee grocery store because the convenience store actually will be managed as a department of Hy-Vee’s Clinton Parkway 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,” Yochum said.
The store also will allow people to take their Hy-Vee grocery receipts to the convenience store to receive discounts on gasoline.
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.