Following the May demolition of their 80-year-old offices, the Progressive Foundry is raising a new office block at 1518 First Ave. in Perry.
Construction of the new offices forms the third phase of the $1.8 million expansion of the Perry factory. Phase one began in May 2020 with the building of a 14,000-square-foot addition to the production footprint.
Phase two brought new and larger employee facilities on the Second Street side of the plant, with more room for a growing staff, a larger lunch room, a training center and locker rooms/showers for both men and women.
“We tore the old ones down, and we’re building right over the top of them, and we’ll have more than twice the space,” said Kirk VanKirk, second-generation owner of the 105-year-old Perry business.
“They’re telling us that sometime by the first of July we’ll be in the new offices next year,” VanKirk said. He said the management team has been working out of temporary offices on the Second Street side during phase-three construction.
“We’ve been operating out of the supervisor’s office in what we call our metal lab, which we rebuilt in phase two,” he said.
Once the new offices are finished, a grand-opening party is planned, complete with grilled meats and, presumably, heavy metal music.
“We’re going to have an open house for the community on all of this when we finish our offices,” VanKirk said. “I’ve spoken to Perry Economic Development and the Lions Club and the Kiwanis Club, and all of them want to tour the new facility, and we’re going to have a grand finale when that day comes.”