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As published in Toledo Business Journal - July 1, 2021

In-progress construction of American Excelsior’s new facility

In-progress construction of American Excelsior’s new facility

American Excelsior places $4M in Norwalk

American Excelsior Company has finalized plans and broken ground on a new $4 million, 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility adjacent to its current manufacturing facility located at 180 Cleveland Road in Norwalk. The building expansion will create 10-15 new jobs for the company as well.

“Our decision to expand our operations is part of our strategic plan to continue our targeted growth strategy and to continually improve our work environment for our associates within our local community we already operate in,” said Casey Poignon, American Excelsior general manager.

Construction of the new facility is underway and to be completed in early fall. Janotta & Herner is the general design/build contractor on this project.

According to Derek Guerra, project manager, Janotta & Herner, the main benefit of using the design/build method for this project – and in general – is efficiency.

“The design/build method allows for a smooth line of communication between the client and contractor. American Excelsior has worked with Janotta & Herner in the past and knows how important this is for the quality and timeline of a project,” said Guerra. “Design and construction are handled by one point of contact, which streamlines decision making – saving time and money.”

Throughout the entirety of the project, there will be 30-40 construction professionals providing services, including office personnel and field operations for Janotta & Herner.

According to Guerra, before any construction could happen, the land needed to be prepared for the foundation. This included clearing, correcting various soil conditions, and removal of buried debris. The last parts to be designed are the interior details such as flooring, partition walls, fixtures, and more which can be accomplished as construction is progressing.

Rendering of American Excelsior’s new 60,000 square foot facility in Norwalk

Rendering of American Excelsior’s new 60,000 square foot facility in Norwalk

“Design/build is our preferred method as we were founded as a design/build contractor in 1962, but we will act in whatever capacity our client prefers,” noted Guerra.

American Excelsior’s current 77,000 square foot manufacturing facility is divided into two separate manufacturing operations and has been operating in Norwalk since 1995. One part of the plant is dedicated to fabricating foam products for the company’s flexible foam division, which provides foam products used in packaging, furniture, medical, and other industries. The other manufacturing operation produces a variety of products used in the construction industry to help erosion control and sediment runoff products as part of American Excelsior’s earth science division.

Over the past year, both divisions have experienced strong growth, which has resulted in the need for additional equipment and space, noted officials. It became apparent that operating out of one building was no longer feasible, so instead of moving the operation to a new location, the decision was made to build another manufacturing plant on land the company already owns in Norwalk.

The new building will be 60,000 square feet and will solely be devoted to the production and fabrication of flexible foams. According to American Excelsior, this will allow the company to use the current 76,882 square foot building to produce and warehouse products for the earth science division.

The company previously announced a series of investments at several of its locations nationwide last fall. This new construction is further evidence of the company’s commitment to the industries it serves and continuous effort to support its 133-year history, noted officials.

“We have experienced strong growth over the past couple of years and we have simply outgrown our current building. We are excited to develop a workable plan to build on the current property, as it prevents us from relocating. Our associates help make the difference in the markets we serve and expanding right here in Norwalk is a win-win for us, our associates, and the local community,” said Poignon. “We recently expanded our wage range for current associates and have begun recruiting to support our growth. We’re excited to say American Excelsior in Norwalk is hiring.”