UPDATE: LOVES PARK (WIFR) – Anticipation is building for Woodward’s brand new expansion project to be done. $300 million has been spent on the giant structure sitting at the corner of Harlem and Perryville and the manufacturing company is closing in on the wrap-up of construction.
Woodward’s President of Aircraft Turbine Systems Sagar Patel says the project is still on schedule.
According to Patel, the exterior of the building is nearing completion and expects to begin bringing in equipment by the end of the year after the concrete is set. Patel says that from his interactions with the community, everyone is excited a little bit surprised.
"They can't believe how fast the facility has ramped up, how fast the building has come up, it's really taking nice shape. Every day I meet everyone outside of Woodward, they're all excited about it saying 'wow, I can't believe how quickly the building has come up' and that's where I see the community is all excited just as we are,” said Patel.
Patel says they are already into the application process and hiring of 100 new people. One third of those new hires will be engineers and the other two thirds will be production staff.
Patel says the company expects to start work and bring in its employees sometime in the middle of 2015. He also adds that it will take two years to get all of the large equipment and machines into the building.
LOVES PARK (WIFR) -- As we drive along Perryville Road and Harlem in Loves Park, it’s hard to miss the ongoing construction of the new Woodward facility. The company's CEO says even though the building isn't finished, employees from Boeing have already taken a tour.
Tom Gendron says most all of Woodward’s customers have come to check out the 455,000 square foot building. He adds, it’s on budget and on time. This is a $300 million expansion with more than half of that being spent on the equipment that will go inside. The building will be done by the end of the year, but it it'll take until next spring to get all that equipment inside and ready to run.
“That facility is doing engine controls so it’s going to the major engine manufacturers but they've also brought the likes of Boeing here to tour the site because they're concerned. They want to know ‘Are you ready, can you do it?’ and everyone that’s left there is like ‘Wow, you're doing this right’ and they’re pretty excited," says Tom Gendron, CEO at Woodward, Inc.
Around 2,000 construction workers have been brought in to build this facility. The company has said 175 workers should be brought on in the coming months, plus hundreds more once the site is closer to opening.