The CalStar facility in the Golden Triangle Industrial Plant is pictured Wednesday. Photo by: Mary Alice Weeks/Dispatch Staff
May 29, 2014 9:53:24 AM
Though no announcement has been made on when CalStar Products will officially begin business in Lowndes County, construction of the facility that will soon house the plant is expected to be finished by Saturday.
After being granted a 30-day extension to have the building for operation, Weathers Construction is nearly done with site work and a final review of the project is under way. Last month, Lowndes County supervisors granted the extension from the end of April to the end of May. Bill Whittle of JBHM Architects, which assisted in design and oversaw the bidding process for a contractor, said the process is on track.
"That extension was really relative to the site work," Whittle said. "The contractor completed the building portion within the original contract."
CalStar spokespeople could not be reached by press time on when operations will start or how many people have already been hired, but the company officially announced its plans to locate in Mississippi last July through a press release that stated the plant was expected to open in the first or second quarter of this year.
To lure the sustainable masonry product manufacturer to the Golden Triangle, county leaders applied for and received more than $6 million in state loans and grants to acquire property and finance renovation of a 100,000-square-foot building shell on 23 acres in the Golden Triangle Industrial Park into a plant that would support CalStar's operations. CalStar officials said the facility will employ 17 people when operations begin. As part of the agreement between the company and Lowndes County, that number must grow to at least 58 in three years.
CalStar opened its first sustainable brick and paver plant in Wisconsin in 2010. The company recycles and repurposes industrial byproducts into building materials.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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