The Whitefield manufacturer ProKnee Corp. celebrated the grand opening of a new, 16,400-square-foot manufacturing facility and warehouse at 116 Augusta Road on Monday, Nov. 20.
The grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of ProKnee’s second location in Whitefield, joining its current facility on Devine Road.
ProKnee owner Lee E. Richards and his wife, Jennifer W. Richards, who cut the ribbon, were on hand with the business’s employees to celebrate the occasion. The business plans to move in Dec. 1.
The new facility gives the corporation a total of more than 28,000 square feet at three buildings in two locations to meet its administrative, manufacturing, storage, and warehousing needs.
The new building is “well-suited to meet our manufacturing needs,” Lee Richards said.
Richards said the building’s high ceilings will enable ProKnee to store the materials necessary to make its products. He said the company’s auto pickers and storage racks, which go up to 30 feet in height, will fit comfortably into the new facility.
The angles on the building’s roof account for snow load and snow storage. “The building is specifically designed for the northern climate where it is located,” Richards said.
Richards said he designed the facility and served as the general contractor during construction, working with Canam-Buildings, a steel construction company with offices in Quebec and Maryland.
“I think they did an excellent job,” he said.
According to Richards, ProKnee was founded in 1989, primarily to serve workers in the flooring industry with the company’s signature product, custom-made and custom-fit kneepads.
Since the company’s founding, it has added the GoofProof Wall Trimmer, Treadman multi-angle stairtread cutting system, and AP16 All Purpose Kneepad to its list of products.
The business’s expansion into a new manufacturing facility will allow it to increase its reach to other segments of the construction market, specifically roofing, flatwork, and general building construction.
ProKnee currently employs 22 people, according to Richards.
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Richards thanked his employees for their work ahead of the grand opening.
“I’ve got to tell you, I appreciate it. I can’t wait to move into this new building. It’s going to be so much better than what we have now,” he said.