Employees at the Viracon glass fabrication plant in Statesboro, Georgia were notified on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 that the plant would be closing fully by December 31, 2021. Viracon employees approximately 200 at the Statesboro location. They will be moving operations from Statesboro to Owatonna, Minnesota.

Jeff Huebschen, VP, Investor Relations and Communications, Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (parent company of Viracon) confirmed the closure with Grice Connect. The company will also exit the Velocity business and close its facility in Dallas, Texas.

“We expect the plant to be permanently closed by December 31, 2021, with all production moving to our Owatonna, MN facility.  There are approximately 200 positions at the Statesboro facility that will be impacted,” said Huebschen. “We are providing various programs to support employees in transition.  Specific details vary across our locations.”

Photo credit: Special

At one time Viracon, was the largest single source glass fabricator in the country.

Viracon is located in the Gateway Industrial Park near the Wal-Mart Distribution facility off of U.S. 301 South.

The Statesboro plant is a 330,000 square foot full production fabrication facility that was completed in 1998. At one time the plant employed over 600.

St. George, Utah plant closed in 2018

Viracon closed its manufacturing plant in St. George, Utah, the smallest of its three facilities, in March 2018. This closure affected over 200 workers. Their other two facilities are located in Statesboro, Georgia and Owatonna, Minnesota.

At the time of this closing, Viracon mentioned improvements to the Statesboro and Owatonna plants creating more efficiency as one of the reasons for the plant closure.

Statesboro Viracon $6 million renovation in 2012

From March to August 2012, the Statesboro facility was closed for refurbishment according to US Glass Magazine.

During that time, Viracon invested $6 million in the facility’s equipment and infrastructure.

The renovation included 16 specific capital upgrades, and all major pieces of equipment received extensive maintenance.

Most notably, the coating process was streamlined to improve its performance and capability..

The building’s roof was also replaced and the HVAC system was updated to yield a more controlled environment, resulting in a cleaner facility.

Additionally, approximately 90 skylights were installed to enhance natural lighting in specific areas of the factory, and to reduce energy usage during the day.

Viracon Statement on Statesboro Plant Closure

Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOG) today announced plans to realign and simplify its business structure, bring a stronger focus to serving customers, enable a more competitive cost model, and better position the company for future growth and improved profitability. These actions are the initial steps in executing the company’s new enterprise strategy, which include:

  • Focusing the Architectural Glass segment to emphasize premium, high-performance products. As a result, the company will close the Viracon facility in Statesboro, Georgia. Work currently performed in Statesboro will be transitioned to the company’s facility in Owatonna, Minnesota, which has adequate capacity to support the additional activity. The company will also exit the Velocity business and close its facility in Dallas, Texas.
  • Align Architectural Framing Systems (AFS) into two business units, to increase focus on target markets, better serve customers, improve operational execution, and reduce overall costs:
    • Storefront and Finishing Solutions, will offer storefront, entrance, and stick curtainwall solutions, along with coating and related services for architectural products. Primary brands will include Alumicor, Linetec, and Tubelite.
    • Window and Wall Systems, will provide window and wall solutions targeting mid-size to large architectural projects. This business will sell under the EFCO and Wausau Window & Wall brands.
  • Moving the Sotawall business, which is currently a part of AFS, into the Architectural Services segment. This will unify Apogee’s market offerings for larger, custom façade projects. The combined business will primarily focus on the integrated design, manufacture, and installation of curtainwall projects. This transition is expected to be completed in the first quarter of fiscal year 2023. Until that time, Sotawall will continue to report its financial results as a part of AFS.

“Through our enterprise strategy work, we are developing a roadmap for Apogee to become the economic leader in our target markets, bringing the best value to our customers,” said Ty R. Silberhorn, Chief Executive Officer. “Our goals are to focus on the most attractive long-term opportunities, while ensuring we have the operating model and capabilities needed to consistently deliver profitable growth. The actions we are announcing today will better align our organization and cost structure to achieve these objectives.”

The company will begin executing these actions immediately and expects to be substantially completed in the first quarter of fiscal 2023. When completed, the restructuring actions announced today are expected to reduce the company’s workforce by approximately 400 employees. These actions build on the company’s previously announced restructuring and cost savings initiatives. In October 2020, the company announced that it had identified opportunities for $10 to $20 million of annualized cost savings, to be achieved by the end of fiscal 2023. With today’s announcement, the company now expects to achieve $20 to $30 million of annualized savings by the end of fiscal 2023.

The company expects pre-tax charges between $30 million to $35 million related to today’s announcement, primarily for asset impairments and severance. The company will record these charges as they are incurred and anticipates the majority will be recorded in the second quarter of fiscal 2022. Excluding these expected charges, the company is maintaining its previous guidance for fiscal 2022 of adjusted earnings between $2.20 to $2.40 per diluted share.

About Apogee Enterprises, Inc. 

Apogee Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOG) delivers distinctive solutions for enclosing commercial buildings and framing art. Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, we are a leader in architectural products and services, providing architectural glass, aluminum framing systems and installation services for buildings, as well as value-added glass and acrylic for custom picture framing and displays. For more information, visit www.apog.com.


  

DeWayne Grice

Herschel DeWayne Grice is the founder of Grice Connect an online news and information company in Statesboro, Georgia. DeWayne has been active in the media for over three decades. He brings a unique insight...