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From the Echo Press archives, 1997: Alexandria Extrusion plans $9.8M expansion, more hiring

This week in history in Douglas County.

Picture of Rachel Barduson
Rachel Barduson
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This Week in 1972 – 50 years ago: A special public open house for the Alexandria Area Technical Institute on Sunday, Oct. 15 will feature a judo demonstration by the law enforcement classes in the school cafeteria and a special showing of the “Nu-Frame Home” constructed by the carpentry classes. The home is next to the school's south parking lot and is the first of its kind in Minnesota. The public, parents and high school students are invited to tour classrooms and various demonstrations. This year, 219 students from Douglas County are enrolled and the total enrollment this fall is listed as 1,252 students.

1972, 50 years ago: Ground has been broken for the new Coast to Coast store to be located between Ward’s and Unique Cleaners. The building will contain 7,000 square feet of space and will be locally owned. The former Coast to Coast store at 507 Broadway has been purchased by another firm for expansion. The new store is expected to open in March 1973.

Miss Irene Halstead, employee of First National Bank for 44 years, was chosen Woman of the Year by the Alexandria Business and Professional Women (BPW). Halstead was one of the charter members of BPW and has twice served as its president; she has served First National Bank through six presidents, rising from her first position as stenographer to today being assistant cashier. It is the first time in 72 years that any woman has held that position.

1997, 25 years ago: One of Alexandria’s largest manufacturers is poised to get bigger. Alexandria Extrusion’s major expansion plan includes building a superstructure over the existing facility, remodeling and expanding offices, adding manufacturing area, buying six acres of surrounding land and purchasing new equipment. The expansion and remodeling project will be done in four phases from 1998 to 2004. It is expected to cost $9.8 million. In addition, the company plans to purchase about $6 million worth of equipment, including two new presses. Also, the company plans to increase its workforce from 280 to 325.

2012, 10 years ago: Demolition crews used heavy machinery to tear down the front part of Sun-Opta’s old office building on Third Avenue West as the site is being prepared for a new 27,000-square-foot warehouse with a 1,000-square-foot attached office. The project is being done in response to a fire that burned down the company’s unattached warehouse in January 2011. The project is in the $3 million range. Established in 1987, SunOpta is a food ingredient supplier and manufacturer. It’s the largest producer of shelf-stable soymilk in the United States. Locally, the company employs about 200 people.

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Just for fun, 1972 – 50 years ago: A “Nu-Frame Home” has been a project of the carpentry classes of the Alexandria Area Technical School under the direction of Leonard Youngquist, instructor. The Nu-Frame House system of building has been designed around the use of “fourth-grade dimension materials” in the construction of wall and roof-framing elements, and the use of adhesives and techniques through the study of wood characteristics. Features of the home are a low-cost foundation and a roof coated with Tedlar to make it completely fireproof and one which will last a lifetime.

Sports Trivia, 1972 – 50 years ago: The second annual elementary cross-country run drew 340 young competitors. A large crowd of adults watched a series of six races over an 1,100-yard course that finished directly in front of the stands at the new Citizens Field. Jim Ahlfors, Les Luedtke and Ed Christopherson, elementary physical education staff, directed the event.

Rachel Barduson of Alexandria is a regular contributing columnist to the Echo Press Opinion page.

What To Read Next
This week in history in Douglas County.
This week in history in Douglas County.
The following is an opinion column written by an Echo Press editorial staff member. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press.
This week in history in Douglas County.