Minnesota Company To Close Glass Plants In Georgia, Texas

STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) — A Minnesota company that makes glass panels for building exteriors will close its Georgia plant as part of a larger corporate reorganization.

Minneapolis-based Apogee Enterprises announced Wednesday that it will close its Viracon plant in Statesboro, laying off about 190 employees. The company said it would also close its Velocity Glass plant in Dallas, bringing layoffs to 400 overall.

Apogee said the effort aims to save $20 million to $30 million a year, but the company will take a one-time loss of $30 million to $35 million to write off assets and pay severance.

The company said it has enough capacity at its Owatonna, Minnesota, plant to perform work now done in Statesboro. No employees are anticipated to be offered transfers.

The Statesboro Herald reports as many as 600 people once worked at the Viracon plant, which opened in 1998.

Apogee spokesperson Jeff Huebschen said the company intends to close the Statesboro plant by Dec. 31.

Development Authority of Bulloch County CEO Benjy Thompson said the pandemic had depressed orders for Viracon.

“They’ve been through some difficult pandemic-related issues that were short-term and long-term, so it wasn’t terribly surprising when you have a chance to sit back and think about it, but it’s always shocking when a plant like that one closes in a community,” Thompson said.

Thompson said local officials would like to help sell the property to a new user.