Twisting up a new central

From pretzels to senior care in Pa.
Friday, June 1, 2007

READING, Pa.--How does a security company turn a former pretzel factory into a state-of-the-art monitoring center?
"We hired Stephen Roy, a consultant who's well-versed in the creation and building of central stations," said Mike Bodnar, general manager for SafetyCare/TeleAlarm. According to Bodnar, Roy has already built four centrals, SafetyCare being his fifth.
"Each central that Steven creates is unique. He told me that we're one of a handful with an open ceiling; we have a unique set up with glass block light coming through, and an open ceiling with full daylight. And it's a really neat work environment for our staff."
Safetycare's 73,000-square-foot building, a former Bachman Pretzel Factory here, was built in the '50s "over a little creek," and was already in the ownership of the Gulati family, which owns TeleAlarm/SafetyCare.
The $2 million renovation of the 8,000-square-foot wing of the building that houses SafetyCare and its new central (called the "Family Center") is in an area of the factory that had been sealed off for years. "They had to remediate asbestos from ovens," said Bodnar. He also mentioned that Bachman had moved up the road and built its new factory over a creek.
"The damage that the salt had done to the concrete and pillars was dramatic--it made some of the steel doors look like Swiss cheese..." he chuckled. "In a way, it was a blessing that [TeleAlarm owner] Jack [Gulati]wanted to acquire Safetycare and put it down there ... in addition, it's a real neat look to our facility."