Vitro breaks ground on $55 million dollar expansion

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Excitement is in the air at Vitro Architectural Glass.

Thursday a ground breaking for a $55 million dollar facility will bring the largest architectural jumbo coater to Wichita Falls.

You can only see dirt right now, but by November equipment will be brought in and in April 2018 a building the size of three football fields will open.

Vitro leaders are looking forward to getting started and making money for everyone.

"It is going to have state of the art equipment," Dick Beuke, President of Vitro Architectural Glass said. "The equipment is being built in Germany especially for us. It will be the best equipment in the world when it is put in here."

The large glass will make it more efficient for customers to use in buildings.

The project has been in the works for a long time.

"This is an event that has been five plus years in the making," Chuck Hanley, Chief Operations of Vitro Architectural Glass said. "And it's one that I think will be good for our business and good for the community."

It will bring 50 more jobs to the area.

"We are going to need state-of-the-art people to run it," Beuke said. "And that is what we are excited about. Getting the people in here and training them because it is a very sophisticated piece of equipment."

Why did Vitro decide to bring it to Wichita Falls?

"This is our flagship plant," Beuke said. "This has always been our flagship plant and part of it is because of the employees here and the management. When something has to get done, these guys say we will get it done."

"There were other plants competing for this coater," Hanley said. "And I am glad to see it here. I used to work here. So I am happy for that reason."

The 50 jobs will run three shifts a day and will be very tactical positions.

Beuke said that he just wants to say thank you to the Wichita Falls and Burkburnett communities for all they have done.

He adds that Vitro is really trying to drive the economic expansion in the community.

The plant can make glass 144 inches right now.

The new jumbo coater will be able to make glass double that size.

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