WAXAHACHIE

Cardinal Insulated Glass has plans to complete a 100,000-square-foot expansion to its facility by the end of 2019, thanks largely to a recent multiyear tax abatement awarded by the City of Waxahachie.

Founded in 1962 in Minneapolis, MN, Cardinal Glass Industries is a company that designs glass and door windows across 40 plants in 17 states. Waxahachie plant manager Erik Shoquist said their Waxahachie location was founded in 1989 and specializes in insulated glass production.

Shoquist said their current facility is 182,000 square feet, has three production lines and has produced over 245 jobs. However, the company is planning to expand the 17-acre site by the end of the year, adding 100,000 square feet to the building, a fourth insulated glass line and 30 new jobs.

“We’re adding on 50 feet to the north, and 100 feet to the whole length of the building,” Shoquist explained. “This is our first addition. We’ve never had an addition before.”

Shoquist explained that their production lines produce about 7,000 insulated glasses a day, with 95 percent of that inventory made to order. He said glass sheets are rapidly heated through a gas furnace before being cut at the end of the production line. He also explained the company is planning to add another cutting table in addition to the fourth production line.

“It’s roughly 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit,” Shoquist said. “Then you rapidly cool it, just like you would with steel.”

Shoquist said their jobs are mostly entry-level manufacturing positions. He also stated that while their starting rate is at $11 per hour, management has mused the possibility of increasing it to $13 an hour.

Shoquist explained that the expansion was needed to meet product demand for their clients. In the past year, Shoquist remarked that the plant was working nearly every Saturday to meet their quota, even a few Sundays.

With this expansion, Shoquist said the plant would be able to meet production needs more efficiently.

“We’re really hands-to-the-wall,” Shoquist remarked. “Our customer base is growing. The housing market is on the-up-and-up. It’s still strong.”

Shoquist presented the expansion to the Waxahachie economic development commission during its meeting Tuesday at Waxahachie City Hall for consideration of a tax abatement. Economic development commission president Mackey Morgan stated that the abatement was not for the $7 million building expansion, but rather for the equipment at an $8 million price tag.

Mayor Pro Tem David Hill motioned for approval, and council member Mary Lou Shipley seconded the motion. The commission unanimously approved the abatement. Morgan explained that the abatement is for 60 percent over a period of seven years, starting next year and lasting through 2026.

Shoquist said the plant should be testing the new production line by mid-February.