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Ingersoll breaks ground on facility to build Giant Magellan Telescope mount

Ingersoll officials say the facility should be built by the end of 2021.
Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 5:21 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The Stateline takes a major step in helping with new scientific discoveries that leaders say will not only benefit the Forest City but also the world.

On Tuesday, local and state leaders came together with gold shovels and hard hats to break ground on a new 40,000 square foot facility at Ingersoll Machine Tools. “We’re really excited. This is going to be this is going to be the best thing built in Illinois in a long long time,” said Ingersoll CEO Chip Storie.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said the city continues to be known as a world class manufacturing city and this expands that image even further. “This expansion at Ingersoll continues our great city’s long history in world class manufacturing and engineering expertise,” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

The building will house two major projects including the construction of an 1,800 ton mount for a Giant Magellan Telescope, a global collaboration leaders say will give scientists a deeper look into the universe.

“Think about it, a telescope a rivaling Hubble made right here in our state by the people who call Rockford home,” said Jonathan McGee, Illinois Deputy Director of Regional Economic Development.

Ingersoll also plans to install a gantry machine to help support the company’s work with the U.S. Navy.

“It will be the largest machine tool installed in the state of Illinois,” Storie said.

Mayor Tom McNamara said not only do these projects shoot for the stars, but they will also benefit the region and beyond.

“Rockford is known throughout the world as a leader in making things that make things work,” McNamara said. “The work being done here for the Magellan Telescope project means that we can now add out of this world expertise to our long list.”

Ingersoll officials say the facility should be built by the end of 2021. However, it will be years before the completion of the telescope mount.

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