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October 19, 2013

Valuable stones: High-profile projects a boon for local companies

Irving Materials, Sellersburg Stone cashing in on construction



Another local supplier excited about the prospects of development in the region is the Sellersburg Stone Co.

Ken Rush, vice president of Sellersburg Stone Co., said it is working its way back from the pre-recession levels. He said before 2008 the company was thriving, serving as major suppliers of several major projects like the UPS Worldhub, the widening of Interstate 65 and residential and commercial growth that remained strong in the area throughout the 1990s.

But when 2008 hit, the 35 employees the company employed dropped to 23 and much of their work dried up.

“It really hit our business very hard,” Rush said of the recession. “We’re trying to rebound to that level that we had. That growth is coming back.”

Both the bridges project and River Ridge are playing a major role in that growth, first with the bridges project.

“It’s been such a long time coming, it’s very exciting,” Rush said. “It’s one of those once in a lifetime projects. When you’re in the construction business and have that scope of a project, it’s like hitting the lottery.”

Sellersburg Stone is providing base stone to produce concrete and asphalt to ready-mix suppliers for both the downtown and east-end bridges. It also provides crushed limestone, which is used for fill material for parking lots.

The peak for Sellersburg stone is expected to come during 2014 and 2015. Those are the two big years in physical construction and the company will probably see about a 30 percent increase in production during those years, Rush said.

As a result Sellersburg Stone is hiring.

Rush said the company expects to add about seven to eight employees to its staff and it may add a second shift next year to meet increased demand. And like IMI, Sellersburg Stone expects demand to remain high for some time because of River Ridge.

“The good thing about River Ridge is we’re just scratching the surface on the potential growth out there,” Rush said. “There’s going to be a huge influx of buildings. It’s going to be a huge asset to people like us.”

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