According to a news release from PlayPower, the addition will house the Rotomold Center of Excellence, combining PlayPower's 200-job plastic rotational molding in one location. At least 75 of the jobs are coming to Monett from PlayPower's Farmington plant, where 1,000 people are employed. The Farmington plant had been a RubberMaid production facility back in the early 1990s, turned into a Little Tikes operation in 1995 and was acquired by PlayPower in 2004.
Dan Reed, project manager for Storee Construction, said work on the 60,158-square-foot addition to the Miracle Recreation plant in Monett has progressed well through the winter. He expected the building would be basically finished by the last week of June, after which Storee would move into the finishing phase, installing electricity and equipment, some of which is coming from Farmington.
|"PlayPower has let us design the project around their dates. It's a good project," Reed said.|
The addition is located on the south side of Miracle's second plant, a 103,900 square foot facility purchased from garment maker Jayzee in 1993. A 6,000-square-foot addition was added to the plant in 1998. Miracle added 18,000 square feet to it main facility on Highway 60 in 1999.
The new addition will represent an investment of around $1.4 million in Monett. Reed expected construction would be completed by mid-August.
"We have already transferred one of the Farmington machines to the existing facility, and it will be operational in April," stated D. Nevin Caldwell, executive vice president and division president for PlayPower. "Additionally, we have transferred a number of molds, which have been qualified and parts run for the Little Tikes business."
Caldwell continued, "We have several Farmington-based employees working with the project as we make the transitions and expect some of them to transfer to the new facility over the coming couple of months. The new plant manager for the facility has been named, and she was a leader in the Little Tikes organization. She is determining the future organizational needs and will draw from internal resources as required."
In early 2009, Miracle employed more than 300 people in Monett. Approximately 500 people worked for the manufacturer in 2005. The Rotomold Center for Excellence would return the Monett operation to its peak employment numbers.