That's how long it took Astatula, Fla.-based Quality Culvert Inc. to go from an under-the-radar pipe company to perhaps the fastest-growing firm in the industry.
The manufacturer of high density polyethylene corrugated pipe plans to open a 325,000-square-foot extrusion facility in Athens, Ala., the company's third plant opening announcement in as many months. Quality Culvert plans to invest about $8.4 million in the new building, which is scheduled to begin operating by the end of 2006.
The new plant eventually will employ about 125, officials said.
The privately held company also is opening plants in Shelby, N.C., and Marshall, Texas.
The 60,000-square-foot Marshall plant sits on about 25 acres. That plant is scheduled to begin commercial production in September and employ about 100.
Quality Culvert is investing about $9 million in the Shelby plant and will employ about 80 there.
``The market seems to be good for expansion,'' said Bruce Smith, business development manager, in a May 26 telephone interview. ``We're just making pipe and basically selling what we make.''
Quality Culvert remains a tight-lipped company. Officials do not disclose sales, company size, number of employees or number of extrusion lines.
According to a news release put out by the Limestone County Economic Development Association, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs awarded a $400,000 grant to help the city of Athens build a rail spur for Quality Culvert's new site.
In addition to corrugated HDPE pipe, the company makes PVC basins and in-line drains.