Apogee Announces Plans to Build New Glass Fabrication Plant

Apogee Enterprises, Inc. announced that it plans to build a new architectural glass fabrication plant as part of the company's strategy to grow in this market.

Apogee will invest approximately $25 million in the new facility, which is to be located in the Southwest, to increase its Viracon glass fabrication capacity by approximately $40 million when the plant is at full capacity.

Viracon, the market leader for complex architectural glass products for high-profile projects, today is announcing its new plant to customers attending the GlassBuild America show in Atlanta.

"This new plant, which should begin operating in about 18 months, will help us meet demand that is outpacing capacity for complex high-performance fabricated architectural glass for commercial buildings," said Russell Huffer, Apogee chairman and chief executive officer. "To better serve customers in the meantime, we have new capacity coming on line from the recent expansion of our Georgia plant, and are making additional capital investments this year in both our Georgia and Minnesota facilities to further expand capacity next year.

"We have selected the Southwest market for the plant for two reasons," he said. "First, we will be able to better serve the growing West Coast market with value-added products. And, second, having a plant in the Southwest gives us the opportunity to expand beyond core projects and increase our market share."

The site selection process for the plant is underway, with groundbreaking targeted for the spring of 2006 and initial startup a year later; it will ramp up to full capacity about a year after startup. The new facility will provide the full spectrum of Viracon products, including high-performance coatings for energy-efficiency and laminated glass for security/blast-resistant products for office, education, health care and institutional markets.

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