|February 19, 2014 - A 38-year-old Virginia Tech graduate who's worked as a building inspector and building official in Virginia and Pennsylvania and who ran his own commercial construction company has been hired as the City of Knoxville's Director of Building Inspections.
Peter M. Ahrens is an International Code Council Master Code Professional - the council's highest level of certification, held by only about 800 select experts in the United States.
"This is an amazing opportunity," Ahrens said. "We'll be looking for ways to increase efficiency and consistency with City of Knoxville plan reviews and inspections as we enhance customer service.
"From a personal standpoint, it's a step up. I was looking to grow professionally, in a progressive and growing area."
Ahrens will have 29 employees and a $2.4 million annual budget.
"Peter will be a great fit here," said Christi Branscom, the City's Chief Operating Officer and Deputy to the Mayor. "We're looking forward to benefiting from his expertise and management style.
"I am pleased to report also that Mr. Tom Reynolds will remain in the position of Deputy Director for the department."
Ahrens has more than 14 years of experience in building code application and enforcement. In Franklin County, Va., as the chief building official, he implemented new technologies, repositioned staff and revised office practices to dramatically increase the number of reviews and inspections, increase efficiency and save tax dollars.
Before that, he worked as a building inspector in Manheim Township, Lancaster, Pa. In the late 1990s, Ahrens was an athletic field grounds specialist for Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, and he also worked as vice president of DPA Construction Inc. in Lynchburg, Va.
Ahrens, who's married with three children, is an outdoorsman who enjoys hiking, fishing and camping.