New Castle News

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March 29, 2013

‘Natural’ rock manufacturer opens second local plant

NEW CASTLE — Omni Precast concrete products has opened a second plant in Wampum.

The new site is on Route 18, across from Stonecrest Golf Course.

In a few weeks, and as weather improves, anyone driving by will have the opportunity to see examples of the line of locally made precast concrete products used in landscaping, according to Bill Stevens, president of Omni Precast and executive vice president of R.I. Lampus Co.

“We’ll set up a display at the front of the property as soon as things dry out a little.”

Omni Precast is an affiliate of R.I. Lampus Co. of Springdale, Pa., which produces natural-looking precast concrete products including the Rosetta Hardscapes line of building products. These “designer rocks” and paving stones are used in the construction of patios, retaining walls, walks, steps, accent pieces and driveways.

A new Lampus Lifestyle Collection line, which Stevens said is less expensive, more uniform and easier to install than real stones, will include natural-looking, precast concrete kits for constructing outdoor wood-fired pizza ovens, outdoor kitchens, benches, fire pits and gas-powered fire columns.

“We produce some unique stuff and can get some dramatic results,” he said.

The new six-acre site in the former Trinity Metals building was acquired the first week of January, Stevens said. The corporation will invest almost $1 million in acquisition costs and equipment upgrade.

“That’s a real commitment to the area,” he pointed out.

“We’ve already built a silo to store the cement used in the process and have done a lot (of work) on the inside.”

Sister company Doren Inc., also a neighbor, is assisting by providing a consultant and a crew to help to resolve problems in the swampy exterior. Doren, Stevens noted, specializes in landscaping.

Stevens said the new location is about a quarter-mile away from the original manufacturing plant, which is located in a small industrial park.

In addition to expanding production capabilities, the second manufacturing facility, will provide opportunities for product research and development, customization and more efficient distribution. Stevens said.

Omni Precast has manufactured exclusively for the R.I. Lampus Co. since 2010, making natural-looking, concrete building materials used in landscaping projects.

Lampus, a 90-year-old company, purchases and distributes Omni’s products through about 70 outlets in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Stevens said.

New jobs will be added with the growth and manufacturing expansion, Stevens noted. Omni Precast currently employs seven workers at both Lawrence County facilities. Stevens said “a few more” could be added if business continues to improve.

“We’ve had good luck with the services of CareerLink in Lawrence County,” he said. “We will continue to use them.

Anyone interested in employment with the company is invited to view the job postings online through cwds.state.pa.us.

More information is available by visiting the company’s website Lampus.com.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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