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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
Westermeyer Industries south of Bluffs started rebuilding almost immediately after a devastating fire destroyed much of their building in August.
Owner Gary Westermeyer committed to rebuilding and to not letting the disaster ruin the business.
New construction is being done by Ashland’s Copper Coin Construction.
While the fire destroyed approximately 70,000 square feet of manufacturing space, Westermeyer said as soon as 12 weeks following the fire that the company had adapted and was running at approximately three quarters of its capacity.
“Seventy-five percent of our output is back,” Westermeyer said at that point in time.
In addition, Westermeyer said that the manufacturing facility was at full staff even three months after the fire.
“We’ve had a full crew at work at least for the last six or seven weeks,” Westermeyer said in November. “And it’s not just full staff – we’re working overtime.”
The building lost, Westermeyer said, was approximately 71,000 square feet. It will be replaced by a 97,000 square foot structure, increasing Westermeyer’s manufacturing capacity. Westermeyer said that the new construction accompanies several additional moves to enhance the company’s capabilities. Automation and added space will help the company with output.
“The new building is about 25,000 square feet bigger,” Westermeyer said. “We have several new pieces of equipment on order. We’re putting in a lot of automation to reduce costs and grow the business bigger.”