National Gypsum opened a wallboard plant in Apollo Beach, Fla., in June. With a 122 acres of land, 400,000 square feet of building, the unit has been in operation since January. It has been in the making since third quarter of 1999. The staff is operating with three shifts totaling 75 as an approximate figure.
For the opening tour, held on June 1, the walk-through presentation offered architects a credit hour towards their AIA license.
The plant processes synthetic gypsum, helped made from a waste donation by Tampa Electric, and features an in-house rail system in the warehouse, including the shrink-wrapping system to protect wallboard while on the open-rail cars. As part of the project, a rail line is being extended into the plant.
"The use of synthetic gypsum to manufacture gypsum wallboard provides a win-win situation all the way around," says David Drummond, manager of marketing communications and technical services. "National Gypsum obtains a high quality raw material source close to our plant. The power company eliminates the cost to haul and dump the material and the environmental benefits by keeping the material out of the landfill."