Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (ADS) (NYSE: WMS), a leading provider of innovative water management solutions in the stormwater and onsite septic wastewater industries and the largest plastic recycler in North America, today announced plans to invest a total of approximately $65 million in Hilliard, Ohio, near the company’s existing headquarters. This investment will fund the development of a nearly 110,000-square-foot industry-leading Engineering & Technology Center.
“The ADS Engineering & Technology Center will be the most advanced stormwater engineering center in the world dedicated to product engineering, material science –– including recycled plastics –– and manufacturing technologies. This new facility will accelerate our development of products designed to capture, convey, store and treat our most precious resource: water,” said ADS President and CEO Scott Barbour. “In this new center, our team of engineers, scientists, and technicians will build sustainable solutions that utilize recycled plastics to improve quality of life in communities across North America.”
The company plans to break ground in October at a 17-acre site at Lyman Drive and Davidson Road. The site is located west of ADS’ Trueman Blvd. headquarters and will have a frontage on I-270. Barbour said the new facility is expected to open in late 2023.
“Clean water is critical to our economy and quality of life, and with talent from Ohio, ADS is not only protecting our water supply but also strengthening its position as the largest plastic recycler in North America,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. “The new, cutting-edge facility that ADS is bringing to Ohio will advance technologies that preserve our natural resources and improve our environment while creating 200 new jobs in Hilliard.”
The expansion to ADS’ engineering and technology operations at the center will allow the company to consolidate all of the current product development and testing operations and manufacturing engineering development into one central location. It will include:
- A product development lab focused on the full range of a product’s life cycle including:
- An area to prepare product samples for testing.
- A fabrication lab to develop prototype parts and test fixtures.
- A lab to analyze structural performance of prototypes under different conditions.
- A 3D printing lab to rapidly develop and vet concepts.
- A hydraulics lab that supports ADS’ water treatment businesses including separation, traditional filtration, and low-impact development filtration.
- An advanced technology lab for manufacturing and engineering prototyping.
- Materials science laboratories providing:
- Extensive performance-based materials test capability.
- Analytic tools to generate structural and chemical information on investigated materials.
- Extrusion capability for development of next-generation product formulations.
The Ohio Tax Credit Authority also announced today it will provide ADS with tax credit assistance to continue the company’s expansion in Hilliard. In return, the company must invest at least $10.8 million into the project, retain 322 existing jobs currently in Hilliard, and create 200 new jobs that would result in $20 million of new payroll to the state. All told, ADS plans to invest approximately $65 million in construction and equipment for the new engineering center.
ADS also received significant assistance from JobsOhio, Ohio’s unique private economic development corporation, and One Columbus, its regional economic development partner, in site selection and connecting ADS with the appropriate economic development and city partners to ensure successful completion of the project.
“ADS is an Ohio-headquartered company that is an industry leader in stormwater solutions and plastics recycling in the North American market,” said JobsOhio President and CEO J.P. Nauseef. “These new, state-of-the-art labs will develop innovations that will sustain our environment, reduce plastic in our landfills, and create high-demand jobs in the Columbus Region.”
“ADS has proudly called Hilliard its home for two decades. The development of its new Engineering & Technology Center demonstrates the company’s continued investment and commitment to our city,” said Hilliard City Manager Michelle Crandall. “ADS is an ideal corporate citizen as a top employer, leader in sustainability and community partner. We look forward to supporting the company’s growth over the coming years.”
Barbour said the building and property will facilitate LEED Silver certification and be a showpiece for ADS employees, customers and investors.
“As the largest plastics recycler in North America, utilizing LEED building techniques supports our commitment to sustainability and advances progress to meeting ADS’ 10-year sustainability goals,” said Barbour. “The design of this facility will also enable safe observation of the exciting products and technologies that make ADS the world’s leading stormwater and on-site septic wastewater solutions provider.”