A Look at Heavy-Duty Hoosier Projects
By Nick Dmitrovich

Development is taking place across a multitude of Hoosier industries right now, with many companies gearing up for new business ideas and long-term plans for the future. It’s an exciting time for the state, as innovation and investment continue to grow across both local companies and out-of-state entities alike. So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of Indiana’s latest industrial construction projects.


$300 million – Michigan City
Project: Unit 12 Dry Flue Gas Desulfurization (DFGD) Project
Owner: Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO)
General Contractor: Graycor Industrial Constructors, Inc.
Project Designers: Sargent and Lundy, LLC; and Babcock Power Environmental Inc.

nipsco-mc-hero4You know any project with something like “Unit 12” in its name is probably a hardcore industrial job, and it would be impossible to draft an article on recent industrial construction without mentioning it. Perhaps one of the most technically advanced construction and engineering projects in the state over the past several months, the Unit 12 Dry Flue Gas Desulfurization (DFGD) project at NIPSCO’s Michigan City Generating Station was a true feat for Hoosier contractors.

NIPSCO’s entire purpose for this project was to install technology to reduce harmful environmental emissions from the power generating facility. In the end, the new equipment was able to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 95 percent.

nipsco-mc-hero2Graycor Industrial Constructors spearheaded the project, employing more than 250 craftsmen including boilermakers, pipefitters, millwrights, ironworkers and more. The company self-performed more than 730,000 man-hours without a lost time injury, laying more than 2,752 tons of ductwork, 3,390 tons of structural steel, and thousands of feet of piping and so much more. The project was also innovative in that a new state-of-the-art fabrication yard was utilized near the site, and materials were shipped to the station on barges.


$100 million – La Porte
Project: Casting Plant #2
Owner: Alcoa, Inc. / Howmet Corporation
General Contractor & Designer: Larson-Danielson Construction Co., Inc.

Alcoa Howmet La PorteWhen manufacturing giants Alcoa/Howmet needed more space for its new commercial aviation engine facility, Larson-Danielson Construction stepped up to the plate to design and build them a new 280,000 square-foot manufacturing plant. More than 330 new highly-skilled jobs will be headed to the area as a result of this new build.

“The Alcoa/Howmet project is a significant project for La Porte and the State of Indiana and brings advanced manufacturing techniques to the city,” Project Development Manager Anthony Oss wrote. “The project will have a very positive economic impact on the region for many years to come.”

The new facility represents one of the most technologically advanced aerospace manufacturing facilities in North America, and incredibly, construction went smoothly within its rapid schedule. Larson-Danielson completed the project without a single recordable incident.

Contractors were able to streamline the construction of the manufacturing centers by partnering with the Heavy Structures group of Butler Manufacturing. This allowed builders to expedite the engineering and implementation of the facility’s conventional steel structure, bar joists, and deck/wall paneling. Now that the building is complete, the company will be able to produce ultra-modern nickel components for commercial and military aircraft engines that will be able to withstand temperatures of more than 30,000 degrees Fahrenheit.


$5.59 million – Franklin
Project: Building Materials Manufacturing Facility
Owner: 84 Lumber
Contractor for Renovations: Davis Services

84 LumberThough much smaller than our previous two projects, the creation of 100 new jobs means our last project stands out as an economic development boon for its region. 84 Lumber Company, headquartered in Pennsylvania, recently celebrated the completion of renovations to the former Trussway facility at 1850 North Graham Road in Franklin. The company is a certified women’s business enterprise, and is the nation’s leading privately held building materials supplier based on sales. The company currently operates more than 250 stores across the nation.

“Indiana is an important part of 84 Lumber’s continued growth and expansion,” said Maggie Hardy Magerko, President and Owner of 84 Lumber. “The addition of the facility in Franklin will allow us to better service and provide materials to our builders in the region.”

$5.59 million was invested in Indiana to purchase, renovate and upgrade the 84,000-square-foot facility that had been vacant since 2009. Construction involved the installation of the latest software, computerized saws, specialized jigging equipment and precision wall panel systems.

The company has announced that up to 100 new jobs will be created in Franklin by 2019, and the location will be used to manufacture wood roof trusses, floor trusses and wall panels. The 84 Components division will be locating its operations in Franklin.

“The city of Franklin is extremely excited to welcome 84 Lumber to our community,” said Franklin Mayor Joe McGuinness. “We are fortunate to be chosen as the site for their next project. 84 Lumber is a well-known, highly respected brand and we look forward to helping them grow in Franklin.”

Governor Mike Pence said, “We are proud to welcome 84 Lumber to the Hoosier state, where companies can grow and create new jobs with confidence.”


$1.6 million – Brownsburg
Project: Maplehurst Bakeries Renovation / Expansion
Owner: Weston Foods / Maplehurst Bakeries
General Contractor for Renovations: Pepper Construction

MAPLEHURST BAKERIESWeston Foods, a North American producer and marketer of baked goods, announced plans to locate its new U.S. headquarters in Brownsburg. The company will invest $1.6 million to renovate its 200,000-square-foot production facility for Maplehurst Bakeries – a subsidiary of Weston Foods – in Brownsburg to house the parent company’s U.S headquarters. The company’s new U.S. headquarters will complement its global headquarters in Toronto, improve communication between its subsidiaries across the country and provide a centralized location for its U.S leadership when facility upgrades are complete in September.

With construction currently underway, renovations at the Brownsburg facility will provide an open-concept office space and make updates to the entire facility, including a new kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, meeting spaces and a modernized research and development center. As part of its growth, the company plans to create up to 15 new high-wage positions by 2018, which are expected to pay average salaries more than 180 percent higher than state’s average wage.

“When searching for the ideal place to locate our new U.S. headquarters, Weston Foods considered locations where our company currently runs its bakeries across the country,” said Kevin McDonough, president of Weston Foods North America Frozen. “We chose Indiana for our headquarters because this state’s business climate is ideal for growing and creating new jobs. With the state’s central U.S. location, being based in Indiana allows us to easily oversee our operations across the country.”

The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Maplehurt Bakeries, LLC up to $220,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans. The town of Brownsburg is proposing to offer performance-based tax incentives that will save the company an estimated $104,000 over a five-year period.

“The town is thrilled to see Weston Foods establishing its headquarters in Brownsburg and creating new jobs here,” said Grant Kleinhenz, Brownsburg town manager. “Maplehurst has long been one of our community’s biggest employers and its parent company’s investment here has a major impact on our economy and quality of life.”