Now, 20 years later, Van Deuren proudly talks about the machine shop's state-of-the-art equipment and capabilities. The company can do threading, powder coating, bending, wet painting, welding, rolling and fabricating using an arsenal of machines, which includes a 6,000-watt laser cutter and computer numerical controlled (CNC) devices.
"We drive trucks and dig dirt, so we just look at those guys like 'wow,'" said Travis George, who oversees the construction division.
"Everything I've asked for, (Dave) purchased," Van Deuren said. "We filled the whole place up with the most modern machines."
For D.L. George & Sons, the slumping economy has presented challenges, but also hidden blessings. For instance, Dave George said it's been easier to find skilled workers for the construction division. And market realities drove down the price of the Landis buildings.
"We've been talking for a couple years about the need to expand," Dave George said.
"It's going to give us a lot more capabilities because we'll have more room and training capacity," Van Deuren said.
"We've consistently turned down work because we didn't have the room to do it," Travis George said, saying the existing manufacturing facilities will be turned over to the construction and transportation divisions for their use.
D.L. George & Sons easily could build any structure to meet its future needs. So why take on 100-year-old buildings with 500,000 square feet of wide open space?
"Dad has a real strong liking for older buildings. ... He's just got a thing for old buildings and not wanting to see them go away," Travis George said.
"You'd hate to see someone go in there and tear it down," John George said.
John George explained how his father started the business in 1963 and renovated an old car dealership on Monterey Lane in Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., as well as Tracey's Corner at the major intersection on that mountaintop. The company later tackled rehabilitation projects at its Midvale Road property and the old Lumber Yard in Waynesboro.
The Georges plan to call their new property The Landis Complex and save the site's tower in tribute to Landis Tool Co., which carried the name Cinetic Landis Grinding Corp. when it moved to Washington County, Md., in mid-2008. They'll position the main entrance on Ninth Street and lease portions of the buildings to warehousing operations, other manufacturers or businesses needing professional offices.
"We want it to be as thriving as it once was," John George said.
Dave George and his sons have lived and worked in Adams and Franklin counties in Pennsylvania their entire lives. The majority of their 170 employees hail from the Waynesboro area.
"It's very important to give back," Travis George said.