August 6, 2008

Former Sugar Site Making Room for New Leprino Plant

By Nate Miller, Greeley Tribune, Colo.

Aug. 6--The company that built Invesco Field at Mile High and Elitch Gardens in Denver is in the process of taking down the former Western Sugar Cooperative site in Greeley, which will become home to a plant for the world's largest mozzarella cheese producer.

The roughly $1.8 million job began last week and will take about 51/2 months from start to finish, said Colorado Cleanup Corp. co-owner Rusty Andrews. After the roughly 11 structures at the former Western Sugar Co., 1302 1st Ave., site have been demolished, the final month and a half of the project will allow time for about 30,000 cubic yards of concrete to be ground up to be recycled for use in the building of Leprino's new plant.

"It will be used for the foundation and parking lot of the new project," Andrews said.

The demolition project requires about 12 employees working in Greeley. Andrews said Colorado Cleanup Corp. has done projects in Greeley before, including the demolition of McCowen Hall on the campus of the University of Northern Colorado.

Andrews said he doesn't know yet if his Inverness-based company will be awarded the construction contract, but said he is hopeful.

Leprino Senior Vice President Mike Reidy said the project, from demolition to completion, is a long one. He said the company hopes to break ground on the new facility at some point next spring.

"We're at a point where we're still working on the detailed engineering," Reidy said. Company officials are still making minor adjustments to how the space within the plant will be used. Reidy said the company has not yet begun to choose a construction contractor.

The Leprino plant is expected to cost about $270 million from start to finish.

After a lengthy search process, Leprino Foods officials announced in June that the company would build a cheese and whey products plant in Greeley. The company had also considered a site in Garden City, Kan., before choosing the east Greeley location.


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