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Norfolk Southern Corp. yesterday announced plans to close a Roanoke, Va., office building later this year and relocate functions to Atlanta or Norfolk, Va.The Class I employs about 500 people at the Roanoke building in the marketing, accounting, information technology and other departments. Affected employees will have the option of relocating with their positions."This will not involve any involuntary force reductions, and we will provide substantial relocation packages for those who choose to relocate," said NS President James Squires in a press release.The railroad is closing the building to foster departmental synergies, make better use of its real estate assets and support a goal of streamlining the management workforce, NS officials said. The Class I is in the final process of evaluating which positions will be relocated to the corporate headquarters in Norfolk or the operational headquarters in Atlanta. Some regionally oriented positions will remain in Roanoke, but will move to other area work locations.Roanoke will remain the headquarters for NS' Virginia Division, and the railroad expects to continue operating a local switching yard, locomotive and car maintenance facilities, and a locomotive overhaul and rebuilding facility in the city. NS employs about 1,700 people in Roanoke.The Roanoke office building was built in 1992. Disposition of the 203,000-square-foot building will be determined at a later date, NS officials said.
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