KILGORE 性视界传媒 A large crowd braved steady rain this week at Synergy Park in Kilgore during a groundbreaking ceremony for a $55 million expansion by commercial refrigeration manufacturer Keeprite.

The company, which was previously in Longview, plans to add dozens of new jobs over the years at the new facility, which will include modern amenities for employees as well as expanded production facilities.

The event was attended by local elected officials, employees and representatives from Arco Construction, the project contractor.

Bryan Johnston, president of the board of directors of Kilgore Economic Development Corp., spoke to the crowd sheltering from the rain under a portable awning.

性视界传媒淭oday is an exciting day. This is obviously a very big day for Keeprite, for their employees, for KEDC and for the entire community,性视界传媒 he said. 性视界传媒淭oday性视界传媒檚 groundbreaking commences construction on a state-of-the-art facility for Keeprite on this vast 70.4-acre tract.性视界传媒

He noted three takeaways about the expansion. It represents a 性视界传媒渧ery significant investment性视界传媒 with the initial phase of the three-phase expansion set to erect a 470,000-square-foot facility with a real and property investment of at least $55 million. Additional phases call for further expansions to approximately 1 million square feet.

性视界传媒淭his relocation is expected to bring 60 additional job opportunities over the next 10 years, boosting local employment, diversifying our economic base and stimulating our growth,性视界传媒 Johnston said, noting Keeprite employs more than 200 people.

He also pointed out the 性视界传媒渋nnovative and modern campus design性视界传媒 of the forthcoming facility, which will include a 1-mile walking trail for employees, as well as a 10-acre green space and various sports and exercise amenities.

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Mayor Ronnie Spradlin congratulated Keeprite representatives and employees and called the expansion a boon for the community.

性视界传媒淚 think it says a lot about this company that all their employees are here for this groundbreaking,性视界传媒 Spradlin said. 性视界传媒淚性视界传媒檝e never this many employees come to a groundbreaking before. Kilgore is so very proud to have Keeprite located here. This flagship facility is something that Kilgore can take pride in and be grateful for for many years to come.性视界传媒

Sam Oates, the project manager from Arco Design-Build, thanked everyone for their work on the project and described how the new expansion will benefit the area.

性视界传媒淭his represents vision,性视界传媒 Oates said. 性视界传媒淚t represents opportunity. Today we get to ring the bell on that vision, that expansion and prosperity in this specific site. There are a lot of jobs being created for this community, a community that Keeprite has been very entrenched in for a long time.性视界传媒

Keeprite considered Kilgore for a previous expansion in 2017, but the company eventually opted to grow in place on its existing site on FM 2011 in Longview.

性视界传媒淔ounded in 2008 in Longview with just 18 employees, Keeprite Refrigeration, Inc. has grown dramatically over the years,性视界传媒 according to Frank Xu, executive vice president. 性视界传媒淭oday, we boast a dedicated team of nearly 200 professionals. Our collaboration with Keeprite Refrigeration in Canada has positioned us at the forefront of the commercial refrigeration industry in North America.性视界传媒

The company is relocating to Lot 22 on Synergy Park性视界传媒檚 Alliance Way. The 70.4-acre tract will be owned by Tersco Property Management with Keeprite Refrigeration性视界传媒檚 new facilities occupying the bulk of the space.

— Lucas Strough can be reached at lstrough@kilgorenewsherald.com.