POCATELLO — A Midwestern company that makes post-frame buildings to customers’ specifications on Tuesday celebrated the ceremonial groundbreaking of a plant to be built in the business park at the Pocatello Regional Airport.
Morton Buildings, based in Morton, Illinois, makes a variety of buildings for agricultural, residential and commercial uses.
The plant will encompass more than 67,000 square feet of space and should commence production by the third quarter of 2022. It will open with about 25 workers, and employees will be added as the plant grows, according to the company.
“We’re very excited to establish the new Pocatello plant to meet current as well as future capacity needs, including those of farms, suburban, equestrian and commercial buildings,” Sean Cain, president of Morton Buildings, said in a press release. “Its central location and proximity to the Pocatello Regional Airport makes this a great base to efficiently serve the area and expand beyond.”
They’ve served customers in the West for more than a decade with construction centers in Idaho Falls and Boise, company officials said.
Building kits specifically designed to meet a customer’s criteria are made at about a half dozen manufacturing plants throughout the country and shipped for assembly on site by crews at the regional construction centers.
Other regional construction centers are located in Wyoming, Montana and Colorado.
Thus far, the buildings assembled in Idaho and surrounding states have come from manufacturing plants in Kansas and Iowa. Company officials say the Pocatello plant will serve the growing western market.
The company is employee owned, and company officials emphasized that growth helps increase retirement savings and broadens career development opportunities for employee owners.
“We greatly appreciate the support of our current and future customers, Pocatello city officials and the Bannock Development Corporation for making it possible to move forward with this project,” John Russell, CEO and chairman of the board of Morton, said in a press release.
Bannock Development Corp. was heavily involved in bringing Morton to the area. MiaCate Kennedy I, CEO of Bannock Development, said she’s been working hard on promoting the airport area to businesses.
“One of the things they’ve commented on is just how really supportive the community has been,” Kennedy said. “It’s so exciting to hear how they felt the community is just a super place to put up this new plant. They meant it genuinely. They said it’s unlike any other area they’ve looked at.”
According to a press release, the company’s post-frame construction provides “superior strength and durability by transferring the load through building columns, allowing structures to perform exceptionally well even in extreme weather.
“The design of these highly engineered wood-framed buildings allows for clear spans up to 150 feet, maximum energy efficiency, limited maintenance and efficient construction.”