United States Gypsum Co. announced that it will significantly expand manufacturing capacity for ready-mixed joint compounds at its Jacksonville, Fla., plant. The expansion is part of a strategic program to meet growing customer demand for joint compounds in key markets.

The company is completely rebuilding the plant's manufacturing operation, expanding the structure housing the operation, and adding warehouse and loading capacity. Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2006 and the new facility is scheduled to be operational by the end of the year.

The Jacksonville plant employs approximately 425 people. In addition to joint compounds, it produces the full line of Sheetrock gypsum panels, powdered wall and ceilings textures, and the 100-percent recycled paper used in manufacturing wallboard. It also serves as a distribution center for Durock, Fiberock, wallboard accessories and dry setting-type joint compounds.