New headquarters, larger manufacturing facility planned
Marion Body Works announced that they have signed an agreement with Consolidated Construction Co. to build a new headquarters.
The company also plans to expand an existing manufacturing facility at their 211 W. Ramsdell Street location in Marion.
Although actual site preparation and foundation work will commence immediately, an official groundbreaking ceremony date is set to take place on Aug. 24 at 11 a.m., with officials from the city of Marion, Waupaca County, Marion Body Works and Consolidated Construction.
Marion Body Works, in business since 1905, manufactures fire and emergency apparatus, commercial truck bodies, aluminum custom cabs, custom engineered vehicles, and defense products for customers across the country.
Purchased by V.R. “Bud” Simpson in 1980, Simpson’s son Jim and son-in law Curt Ignacio became co-presidents upon his retirement in 2003. Following Jim Simpson’s death in an automobile accident in 2012, Ignacio’s wife, Nancy, and Jim Simpson’s widow, Lynne, now lead the company and together hold full company stock.
Today, Marion Body Works has more experience in all-aluminum product fabrication than any other U.S. manufacturer.
As the largest employer in the city of Marion, located in northeast Waupaca County, the family-owned company currently employs more than 230 people.
The new Marion Body Works headquarters will feature corporate offices, a customer showroom, engineering and design in approximately 19,000 square feet of space.
Architects with Consolidated Construction, a design-build firm located in Appleton, designed the building to reflect the products and personality of the company, as well as offer large overhead doors and space for access and display of heavy commercial vehicles.
On the same site, Marion Body Works will be adding on to its existing, 183,700 square foot production and warehouse building with a 42,000 square foot expansion.
“This is the largest building expansion in the company’s history,” said Curt Ignacio, CEO. “In addition to meeting our immediate space needs, this will secure that we’ve got the ability to meet customer requests that haven’t even been imagined yet. It’s going to ensure that every Marion Body Works product is manufactured right here in Marion.”
Plans for the new building were reviewed and approved by the city of Marion’s Planning Commission on July 30. Nancy Ignacio announced the project to employees July 31 at their safety recognition dinner for working two years without a lost time injury. Renderings and site plans were on display.
“As a cornerstone of the community for so long,” said Nancy Ignacio, “we have third and fourth generation employees who come to work each day on the same site their parents and grandparents did. We learned from Bud Simpson to continue reinvesting in Marion, and with that we plan to provide solid employment opportunities for generations to come.”
The project schedule calls for a May, 2016 completion date, and construction will be sequenced to allow Marion Body Works to continue its operations.
“This is the type of project we really enjoy on a personal level,” said Mark Schwei, executive vice president at Consolidated Construction. “Knowing Marion Body Works’ economic impact on the area, and given the fact that they’re a family run company with a long history, we know how important this expansion is to them, and the community.” We’re going to have fun watching them grow and succeed in their new building.”