"You don't know what kind of treat this is to be able to sit here and look out the window," said Al Jones, a partner in the firm with Dave Martinez, Jim Sutch and Ken Dykes.
Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority signed on Excelsior Manufacturing Company as its first tenant on Aug. 27, but the clothing manufacturer won't start up for another three weeks, said Charles J. Dempsey, Excelsior's general manager.
"The infrastructure out here is just great. It's ideal for our business," Jones said.
He said the site also allows the firm to do top-secret and classified work, since the building contains vaults and other security measures formerly used by the U.S. Army.
"It's incredibly expensive to create that kind of environment," Jones said.
Moving to Letterkenny will also allow the business to expand, Jones said. The partners expect the firm to grow to 200 employees at multiple locations throughout the country in two years, and to employ 1,000 workers in 10 years, Jones said.
The firm has another office in Fair Lakes, Va., but Jones said Chambersburg will remain the company's headquarters.
"We have no plans to ever leave Chambersburg," he said.
The partners, all retired government employees, chose to locate their business in Chambersburg because low overhead allows them to keep their rates down and therefore bid more competitively, Jones said.
The company also plans to tap into the "wealth" of technical talent in the area, he said.
In Franklin County, MCCS Inc. has worked for United Defense, Defense Logistics Agency, the Pennsylvania district justice training center at Wilson College, and Franklin County's 911 Emergency Database.
Excelsior Manufacturing Co. has been bringing in equipment and setting up machinery in the factory in Building 9 at Letterkenny for well over a month, and contractors are about finished with renovations and other details, Dempsey said.
Interviews with job applicants, including about 150 displaced workers from the J. Schoeneman Co. in Chambersburg, began last week, Dempsey said.
In September 1995, the federal government called for the closure of approximately 1,500 acres of the 19,500-acre depot as part of a realignment plan.
A year later, the Franklin County Reuse Committee commissioned the preparation of a reuse strategy to transform and redevelop the 1,500 acres into a business and industrial park.