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Orgill breaks ground in Berkeley Co.

May 10, 1999

By BRYN MICKLE / Staff Writer, Martinsburg

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Wielding a silver shovel, West Virginia Gov. Cecil Underwood helped Berkeley County break ground Monday for a new hardware distribution center expected to bring 235 jobs to the area by next spring.

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About 85 people gathered in a cow pasture on Tabler Station Road where Tennessee-based Orgill Inc. will build a 500,000-square-foot distribution center on 39 acres across from the Guardian Fiberglass plant.

Orgill will use the $20 million distribution center to service customers in the eastern part of the country, said company Chairman Joe Orgill III.

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The facility will house a fleet of 25 trucks to distribute $30 million worth of inventory that will range from small screws to 10,000-horsepower compressors, Orgill said.

The distribution center will be capable of expanding to 700,000 square feet and eventually could employ about 400 people in Berkeley County.

Underwood said the addition of Orgill to the West Virginia economic landscape will allow the state to continue to diversify its job base.

"The Eastern Panhandle is the fastest growing region (in the state) with its very favorable location near the highways," Underwood said. "All of these new industries coming here are different, and we've needed economic diversity in this state for a long time."

Underwood said the Eastern Panhandle also enjoys an advantage by having a good relationship between private industry and schools that can train new workers.

Prior to the Orgill ceremony, Underwood made an appearance at Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, W.Va., where he signed a new law that will provide $700,000 in state funds for the completion of a science and technology center at the school.

Monday's ground-breaking ceremony was the second of three economic developments that have brought Underwood to Berkeley County this month.

Underwood was at Quad Graphics on May 7 for the opening of the company's new distribution center and is scheduled to be at today's dedication of the new S. Schwab Co. facility near the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport.

"We've had a lot of good things happening and a lot of good things coming up," Berkeley County Commission President D. Wayne Dunham said. "It's a good future for Berkeley County."

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