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After two years of construction, the Mars Chocolate plant in South Topeka is nearly done. Mars Site Director, Bret Spangler says its come a long way.
“Very proud of where we are today. Basically the project goals and timelines are all on track and by the end of the year we’ll be making two of America’s favorite brands, Snickers and M&M’s.”
The 350 thousand square foot facility will house a new production plant, office space, and a cafeteria.
The first shovel full of dirt was scooped up in August of 2011 and now nearly two years later the pieces of this new facility have really come together.
About 350 contractors have been working on this project since the beginning, Spangler says its all goes back to the community.
“I can tell you that 90% of the money that we’ve spent on a contractor base is within a hundred miles of this factory so we’re making sure we’re investing into the community in that manner.”
150 more workers are expected to be on the site to install factory equipment towards the end of construction.
Currently Mars has fewer than 100 employees here in Topeka, but the new facility is expected to bring in even more.
“We’re at 200 by the end of this year basically and that could ramp up to 3 or 4 hundred depending on which faces we bring in, what products and if there’s any building expansion in the future,” Spangler says.
” This building itself will be gold certified when we open up so very energy efficient design to the building and includeshe skylights that we see inside the building making sure we have natural light coming in.”
Waiting a little longer till that candy can start rollin out.
Spangler says some production will start at the end of the 2013 year, and then full scale production will start January of 2014.