Acme Brick Co. hosted a ceremony Feb. 5 at its Bennett, Texas, plant observing the first load of brick produced by the company’s newly reopened facility. This plant, just west of Dallas/Fort Worth and built in 1996, is located on the site of Acme’s first brick-making facility that began producing hard-fired brick in April, 1891. Acme  also is reopening a portion of the company’s Texas Clay plant located in Malakoff near Athens, Texas.

Dennis Knautz, Acme president and CEO said, “It’s very exciting and to see this brick plant back in the business of making quality brick for our region’s homes. In December 2006, annual construction activity in the DFW area peaked at 182 million square feet. We then witnessed a plummet by nearly 70 percent, to a low of only 57 million square feet by the start of 2011. Over the course of the past year, we have seen a rebirth of activity here in the Metroplex with construction now totaling 83 million square feet and forecasted to rise by double digits in 2013.

“Nearly the same story can be told about our Texas Clay plant in Malakoff,” he continues. “The year 2012 witnessed greater order demand for that plant’s brick products. In response, we restarted that plant’s third kiln in late-December with the plan to bring Texas Clay to full capacity as quickly as possible.

“It is also important to note that during the ‘down time,’ we consciously retained a select group of key associates on the payroll who were assigned to a variety of projects – mostly at other Acme facilities – requiring them to travel and spend much time away from their families. While this group welcomes the end of travel and the return to working locally, they will work with and help train about 60 new associates who will be joining the company.”

At full production, the Bennett plant is capable of producing more than 2 million residential brick per week, or roughly enough brick for 150 average-sized homes.