OAK CREEK, Wis. — The sun glistened off the silvery blades of ceremonial shovels as one group after another took turns posing in front of earth-moving equipment at the site of what is to be Crothall Laundry Services’ first built-from-the-ground-up facility.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place Aug. 11, and site preparation for construction of the $13 million plant in this community south of Milwaukee has since begun.
CenterPoint Properties is developing the 83,000-square-foot building in Creekside Business Park for Crothall, which currently operates a laundry facility on the campus of Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee. Crothall has signed a build-to-suit lease.
ARCO/Murray National Construction Co.’s Laundry Division is the contractor.
Crothall had a choice to make when Aurora Health Care decided that its campus laundry should be converted to clinical use or something similar, says Ian Bigelow, national director of technical service, Crothall Laundry Services.
“We’ve been asked to build a plant here, and they have committed to a future with us,” Bigelow says.
“I want to give special thanks to Aurora Health Care for their partnership with us for the last 10 years, and their commitment to do business with us moving forward,” Steve Carpenter, president of Crothall Facilities Management, said to those at the ceremony.
The facility will be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified, Carpenter says.
It will employ approximately 150 FTEs and produce 20 million pounds annually shortly after start-up, targeted for May 2011. Crothall anticipates 250 FTEs and annual production of 50 million pounds at full capacity.
The plant will feature Milnor wash-room equipment that includes three continuous-batch washers. Chicago Dryer Co. will supply the flatwork finishing equipment, Colmac Industries the steam tunnel, and TEA the water processing system, Bigelow says.
“I’m not too anxious, because even though we haven’t come from the ground up, we’ve been through the process before,” says Bigelow, who worked on the Texas Medical Center laundry project for Medi-Dyn, a healthcare support-services provider purchased by Crothall.
“Having worked with Ian in the past, we’re just excited to have the opportunity to work with him again, now with Crothall,” says Elliot Mata, ARCO/Murray project manager. “We’re excited about successfully completing this project on budget, on time, to give them a model for what they can do in the future. ... This is the first time they’re coming out of the ground, so we’d really like to knock it out of the park.”
Crothall Laundry Services has grown into the second largest laundry provider in the healthcare industry, according to Carpenter.