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Lancaster’s AVOX Systems seeks efficiencies in $5.3 million project

AVOX Systems is spending $5.3 million to upgrade its physical plant and another $1 million on new equipment as part of a major investment in its Lancaster campus.

The former Scott Aviation, which makes oxygen and respiratory products and systems for the aerospace and defense industries, received approval for the project from the Lancaster Village Board on Monday night.

The biggest change will see AVOX mothball the oldest of its three buildings and extensively renovate the two that remain.

“We’re doing this project to increase our operational efficiencies and make us more competitive for the future,” Michael P. Brown, AVOX’s vice president of operations, said Tuesday.

AVOX, a subsidiary of French aerospace company Zodiac Group, has been planning for the redesign of its 28-acre campus for months.

The company has 365 employees who work in three buildings at the corner of Erie Street and Walter Winter Drive.

Building 1, the oldest, dates to the 1940s, said James B. Allein, the chairman of the village’s Planning Commission, who said his father worked at Scott Aviation as a purchasing agent during this decade. Allein, his brother-in-law and his wife all later worked for the company.

“Just about everybody in the Village of Lancaster has some kind of connection to the original plant,” Allein said.

AVOX plans to shutter Building 1 and transfer the work done there to Building 2 and Building 3, which combined have 75,000 square feet of space and will be used more efficiently following the $5.3 million redesign, Brown said.

The company has no plans at this point to demolish, or sell, Building 1. In addition to the infrastructure, AVOX is spending $1 million on new manufacturing and research-and-development equipment, including a vibration table and environmental chambers.

The work won’t expand the company’s footprint on the site, though a small model shop was added to Building 2. The project also included a redesign of the company’s parking lots.

The Village Board on Monday approved the project’s site plan and accepted a finding that the project would not harm the environment, in both cases following the recommendations of the village’s Planning Commission.

Some work on the project already has begun, Brown said. Building 2 should be finished by Sept. 1, and Building 3 should be completed by Nov. 1.