New large facility to replace Vermeer buildings lost to tornado

by Maddy Crile / madcril20@pceagles.org

On July 19, 2018, an EF-3 tornado severely demolished Vermeer Corporation Plants 5 and 6. Not long after the incident, the company announced they would be building one new large production facility in place of the destroyed buildings as well as a new Eco Center and a new building called Shop 48. 

According to Vermeer Corporation President and CEO Jason Andringa, having a new production facility meant safely tearing down what remained of the tornadoes destruction. “We are very proud that we had no injuries during the clean up or demolition process. A large building contractor as well as various subcontractors will build the new large production facility where plants 5 and 6 used to be,” said Andringa. 

This production facility will replace the two destroyed plants. “Our new, large production facility–where plants 5 and 6 used to be, but will be one large facility connected to plant 7–is just now under construction and will be finished in October 2020,” said Andringa. 

With lots of work being accomplished on the large production facility, Shop 48 and the Eco Center are also coming along. Both buildings will be complete soon. “To get our engineering prototype build teams back on the site, we announced that we would build ‘Shop 48’ soon after the tornado. Shop 48 is nearly finished. Our new Eco Center will be complete by January 2020,” said Andringa. 

While the new production facility was being built, certain employees were in need of a work location. They were split and transferred to multiple separate locations to continue their work. “To make room for the team members displaced from plants 5 & 6, we moved our engineering prototype build teams to various off-site locations such as PPI and an unused warehouse in Pella, Weiler in Knoxville, a couple different buildings in Ottumwa, and a few other locations,” said Andringa. 

Vermeer faced many challenges in the wake of the natural disaster and had to quickly find solutions to meet their supply and demand. They adapted to the loss of their plants and are using the unfortunate destruction to their advantage by renovating and increasing their manufacturing facilities.

 

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