Bal Seal Engineering is growing so fast that the size of its planned expansion in northern Colorado Springs is more than double what was initially envisioned, to 155,000 square feet, and the soon-to-be-built plant could be operating at full capacity in as few as six years, the company’s president said Thursday.

The California-based manufacturer plans to move late next year into the $45 million plant to be built southwest of Voyager Parkway and Republic Drive in the InterQuest business park; the plant will replace a manufacturing facility the company now operates off Garden of the Gods Road. 

Bal Seal President Rick Dawson said the company plans to expand its Colorado Springs workforce from 48 now to 60 by year’s end, 100 by the end of next year and 200 by the end of 2014; it could reach 400 when the plant reaches its capacity in six to 10 years.

“When we started discussions about building a new plant, it was going to be 60,000 square feet, then it grew to 80,000 square feet, then 120,000 square feet and now we are building 155,000 square feet,” Dawson said during a groundbreaking ceremony for the plant. “We had $85 million in sales last year and expect to double that in five years. This project is about anticipating what we need in the next five years and putting those resources in place.”

Bal Seal makes spring-loaded connectors that carry electric current for pacemakers and other medical devices. The company selected Colorado Springs for the expansion because of the area’s business-friendly government agencies, well-trained workforce and the availability of local community colleges and universities to train employees, Dawson said. He thanked officials, including Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach, El Paso County Commission Chairwoman Amy Lathen, U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., and Joe Raso, the new CEO of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC, for their roles in helping pave the way for the expansion.

Scott Bryan, CEO of Bryan Construction, general contractor for the project, said construction will begin next month. It will be the company's first project in the Colorado Springs area that will be built without blueprints, Bryan said. All construction drawings will be stored in computers in the construction trailer on the site and will be updated daily. Supervisors and other working on the Bal Seal project will be equipped with tablet computers they can use to access the plans at any time and get a three-dimensional look at any part of the building, he said.

Bal Seal first announced plans for the expansion late last year.—Contact Wayne Heilman: 636-0234 Twitter @wayneheilmanFacebook Wayne Heilman

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