Plumbing and Steamfitters Union buys Caledonia industrial building for $2.6 million

Plumbing and Steamfitters Union buys Caledonia industrial building for $2.6 million

An aerial photo of the industrial building at 8630 Industrial Drive in Caledonia. (Photo courtesy of First Weber Realtors)

Racine-Kenosha Plumbing and Steamfitters Union Local #118 has purchased a 47,264-square-foot industrial building at 8630 Industrial Drive in Caledonia for use as a new training center. The union, whose membership spreads across Racine, Kenosha, and Walworth counties, currently conducts training out of a 10,000-square-foot building at 14011 Spring St. in Sturtevant, but has been at

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Cara Spoto

Cara covers nonprofits, healthcare and education for BizTimes. Cara lives in Waukesha with her husband, a teenager, a toddler, a dog named Neutron, a bird named Potter, and a lizard named Peyoye. She loves music, food, and comedy, but not necessarily in that order.

Racine-Kenosha Plumbing and Steamfitters Union Local #118 has purchased a 47,264-square-foot industrial building at 8630 Industrial Drive in Caledonia for use as a new training center.

The union, whose membership spreads across Racine, Kenosha, and Walworth counties, currently conducts training out of a 10,000-square-foot building at 14011 Spring St. in Sturtevant, but has been at capacity there for a while, said Josh J. Birong, the union’s business manager.

“We have been maxed out there for several years. We wanted to move, but just haven’t been able to make it happen until now,” Birong said, adding that construction costs made building new prohibitive.

The Caledonia building – once it is renovated to serve the union’s needs – will offer enough room to provide day training to about 125 apprentices, along with night classes for journeymen and continuing education for more established trades people.

The building was sold to the union by Mamco Motors, which lists its address there. A message left for the company on Thursday was not immediately returned.

Training

The union provides all of the training for its apprentices, which currently consists of about 110 people. That includes aspiring tradesmen and women looking to work in all of the pipe trades – from plumbing and sprinkler-system installers to HVAC service technicians and steam fitters of all stripes.

Once it’s renovated, the building is expected to have eight classrooms as well as a hands-on plumbing lab, a hands-on HVAC lab, and a welding lab.

The building was officially purchased by the union’s education fund, which is fed by union dues that the membership earmarks for training expenses.

“Training is the biggest thing we do,” Birong said.

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