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Swanson Transfers Springfield Workers

Swanson Transfers Springfield Workers

As of late July, Swanson Group had not decided whether to rebuild its plywood mill that was destroyed by fire on the afternoon of July 17 at Springfield, Ore.

CEO Steve Swanson said up to 100 employees from the Springfield plywood mill will transfer to one of the company’s other three plants—sawmills at Roseburg and Glendale, Ore. and a plywood mill at Glendale.

“We are very fortunate that all of our employees avoided injury,” Swanson said. “That hasn’t always been the case in catastrophes of this magnitude.”

Discussions with insurance agents and advisors are ongoing with regard to the rebuilding options. Rebuilding the mill would be at least a two-year project.

Cause of the blaze still hasn’t been officially announced.

About 100 firefighters from seven agencies were dispatched to fight the fire. The complex reportedly included 200,000 square feet of buildings.

Swanson Group purchased the Springfield site from McKenzie Forest Products in 2007 and proceeded to perform major capital upgrades to log merchandising, dryer rebuilds, lathe modernization and a new layup line. The mill ran four multi-opening presses and two MDO/HDO presses. It had more than doubled production capacity since Swanson took over. Georgia-Pacific built the mill in 1960.

Swanson Group dates back to 1951 when brothers Dean and Rod Swanson purchased a sawmill in Glendale and operated it as Superior Lumber. Their father and an uncle had earlier operated a sawmill near Eugene.

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