When all was said, done, and dedicated, practically all on the guest list - including Texas Gov. Rick Perry - attended the proud occasion for the Valley Forge, Pa.-based building materials manufacturer.
Since the plant had already begun production a few weeks earlier, CertainTeed President and CEO Peter Dachowski, who flew in from Valley Forge for the day, appropriately dubbed the event a "Texas housewarming."
Dachowski, plant manager Gary Tripp, and Gov. Perry addressed the crowd in an air-conditioned tent, which was planted on the parking lot behind the 518,000-square-foot plant, located 50 miles north of Dallas.
CertainTeed made sure one and all toured the former auto glass manufacturing plant, which had stood idle for four years. It wanted to show those in attendance why it committed to an approximate $15 million capital investment, with the goal to make the plant "the first and finest U.S. plant designed especially for the production of textile fiberglass duct liner."
Most of all, it wanted to show off the new product being produced in the Sherman plant, ToughGardÂ®2, a fiberglass textile duct liner for heating and air conditioning systems.
Lease AgreementThe plant is owned by the state's 150-year-old Permanent School Fund, a public education endowment dedicated to making money for the school children of Texas. It was the first such development deal in the state's history, noted Elva Clements, who represents CertainTeed but is employed by Alvare Associates Inc. The Texas General Land Office brokers the deal. In essence, the fund is leasing the building and the land to CertainTeed in a 30-year lease.
"The state has been very kind to us," said Tom Newton, manager, advertising and promotions, Insulation Group.
At the podium, Dachowski referred to the linkup between the state and the manufacturer as "Texas ingenuity and Yankee ingenuity."
The plant will employ up to 50 people when it is fully operational. In addition to the fully automated production line that will produce a "new and improved textile duct liner," CertainTeed said the facility will also house the manufacturer's new service center, serving the central region of the United States.
Running the plant is Tripp, who began his career with the company in the former Pipe and Plastics Group. Before coming to Sherman, he handled special projects for CertainTeed in Georgia and Kansas, and served as liaison between the company and CTA Acoustics.
Almost immediately, said Dachowski, the company launched plans to design and build its own state-of-the-art plant to produce "a duct liner far superior to its previous form."
"Textile duct liner is used to absorb noise generated by central air handling equipment and to deliver conditioned air at design temperatures," explained Dachowski. "ToughGard's composition makes it acoustically and thermally superior to competitive liners and to its earlier version. Field tests have also proven it to be easier to handle and cut by HVAC contractors."
For more information, visit www.certainteed.com.
Publication date: 09/27/2004