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April 23, 2004

Cabot Distribution Center Nears Completion


MONTPELIER, VT In June 2004, Hanover, Massachusetts-based engineering and construction firm Food Tech Structures, LLC, will put the finishing touches on a new Cabot Creamery Distribution Center in Montpelier, Vermont. The facility is being constructed for Patrick Malone of Malone Properties. After an October 2003 groundbreaking, Food Tech anticipates the 62,000 square foot Distribution Center will have been constructed in a mere eight months. This is a "notable achievement," according to Food Tech senior vice president David Wittliff, commenting on the intense winter weather and record low temperatures sustained in the northeast this winter. Montpelier experienced single-digit and subzero weather throughout January and most of February 2004. "The site and foundation work required daily dewatering efforts as a result of an abnormally high groundwater table," explains Food Tech project manager Richard Bott. In addition, says Bott, efforts to eliminate any potential erosion meant the team was precluded from performing site work from January through mid-April. And that's not all. Concrete pours during December were complicated by what seemed like non-stop snow and ice storms. "Concrete deliveries had to be scheduled around the challenging road conditions during these frequent storms," adds Bott. Then, during the month of January, temperatures dropped for several days, with -20�F temperatures with wind chill as low as -40�F to -50�F. The frigid cold impacted on the steel erection schedule. To maintain the timetable, cranes and erection equipment had to run non-stop 24 hours a day to avoid fuel freeze-ups. "As a result of the cold temperatures, the frost depths exceeded six feet below the building sub-grade," observed Food Tech project superintendent Al Deluca. "Once we had the building enclosed, we were able to utilize ground heaters to remove the frost from below the buildings," he says. The team coordinated the cooler area's electrical, refrigeration and sprinkler work around the ground thawing effort in order to maintain the construction schedule and minimize impact on the pallet rack installation. The $6M distribution facility includes ten loading docks and a state-of-the-art ammonia refrigeration system. Jim Pratt, Cabot's senior vice president of operations, says, "The steady sales growth of Cabot brand dairy products requires a new distribution center. This facility will better enable Cabot to meet both our internal needs and the needs of our customers. We expect the result to be additional growth, which means more jobs for Vermonters and more security for our farmer-owners." In addition to the Montpelier facility, Food Tech is also involved in two additional projects for the farm family owned Cooperative at its original site in Cabot, Vermont: a 90,000 square foot renovation of its Cut and Wrap Manufacturing Facility; and a 4,000 square foot Cottage Cheese Production Room addition. "We are pleased that Cabot has partnered with us to help solve its growing manufacturing needs," says David Wittliff, reflecting on its recent needs for additional space and resources. The Montpelier facility marks Cabot's second major project in just three years. Food Tech has been working with Cabot on various projects for the past eighteen months. Food Tech Structures, LLC, specializes in planning, engineering and construction for the food and beverage industries. Offering all disciplines in-house, Food Tech has offices in Hanover, Massachusetts, Metro-New York and Los Angeles. The company's architects and engineers are licensed professionals with unparalleled experience in food facility design, and construction services are provided for fast-track, single source, total-responsibility, design/construct project implementation solutions. For more information please visit the company website at www.foodtechstructures.com, or contact Mike Golden at mgolden@foodtechstructures.com, or by telephone at (800) 880-0118. Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919 and is owned by the dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast's premier dairy cooperative. Cabot makes a full line of cheeses and other dairy products, including "the World's Best Cheddar" as judged at the 22nd Biennial World Championship Cheese Contest. For additional information on Cabot Creamery, visit the company website at www.cabotcheese.com. ###


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