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ServiceMaster making good of Vibrations

by Joe Buttweiler –

MASON CITY – ServiceMaster of Mason City is cleaning up a logistics challenge by consolidating operations at a new site near the north edge of town.

The company is renovating the former Vibrations nightclub building and will be moving its office there in March, then moving the shop out to the new site in the spring, said Tamara Quam, who owns the business with her husband, Kurt.

The multifaceted cleaning company currently operates out of three locations, with offices at 938 N. Federal Ave., a shop at 1004 N. Federal Ave., and in buildings next to the former Vibrations nightclub at 300th Street and Osprey Avenue.

“It makes it difficult to keep track of everything,” Quam said. “I’ve always wanted to have everything in one place. It’s going to happen now.”

Quam said it was a banker at Community National Bank who brought up the idea of using the former nightclub building. The bank had acquired the property in a foreclosure. It sold the property to ServiceMaster in October for $65,000, said Kurt Quam. It includes the building and two acres of land.

The building was gutted and is being renovated to include a main reception area on the north side – the entrance will be off of 300th Street – a break room, meeting rooms, chemical storage room, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and second-floor offices and conference room.

An 80-by-60-foot building will be constructed just to the east of the new headquarters to house carpet cleaning trucks, a shop and storage. The move into that building is expected to take place by June, Kurt Quam said.
The couple’s Outdoor Services company, which provides lawn care, trimming and snow removal, will continue to use two rented buildings just south of the new location. Both are owned by the former owner of the franchise. The Quams bought it in 2008.

ServiceMaster of Mason City employs 30 to 32, while Outdoor Services eight to 10, Tamara Quam said.
The company provides a variety of cleaning services, including contract janitorial work, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and disaster cleanup, such as after fires. “About the only thing we don’t do is monthly housecleaning,’ Kurt Quam said.

The company also provides continuing education classes for insurance adjusters.

Depending on the severity of a fire, ServiceMaster will bring the contents of a home or building to its shop and clean everything there, then bring it back after any structural damage has been repaired.

The company also has helped with flood cleanup, mainly in Mason City in 2008 but also in Hampton last year.
Tamara Quam said the residential carpet cleaning side has been slow during the recession, the janitorial services fairly steady and the disaster cleanup, of course, unpredictable.

She said she expects the carpet and upholstery cleaning business to pick up with the improving economy.
The disaster cleanup may also. Quam said she’s noticed fire victims during the recession have taken on a bigger role in cleaning their property themselves and having ServiceMaster handle only the aspects the property owner cannot.

She said she’s looking forward to getting the new headquarters done and having all of the company’s operations together. “It’s going to be a nice-looking building. I think it’s gone to be a great move for us. We’re excited.”

View photos here.

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