DCN ARCHIVES

February 21, 2006

Construction Association

Better economic times ahead for Windsor, says president

Strong economic times will continue in the border city of Windsor, predicts the incoming president of the local construction association.

Overseeing a WCA membership of about 300, Shawn Magone points to numerous projects underway and in the planning stages for the Rose City. In fact, despite a slight drop off of total construction value in 2005, Magone sees better times ahead for Windsor.

“Our economy is strong,” says Magone, of Riverview Drywall and Painting Contractors Ltd. in Windsor. “Touch wood, things will get stronger for the next few years.”

Total construction in Windsor reached $320 million in 2005, down from $367 million in 2004. Industrial and commercial construction were on par, while institutional was down $20 million, and residential down $38 million.

Projects like Casino Windsor’s $400-million retrofit will help boost numbers, as will DaimlerChrysler Canada’s three-year, $610-million investment in its new flex operations and in research and development at the University of Windsor, and $100 million worth of new border infrastructure.

As well, four new schools, the Lou Romano Pollution Control Plant, St. Clair College Student Centre addition, a new bus terminal, a 120,000 square foot retail plaza in nearby Amherstburg, and a $140-million commercial alcohol-ethanol plant point to good economic times in region.

Other projects to watch for in Windsor this year include a new long-term care facility in Amherstburg, and a University of Windsor student residence.

Also, Chrysler’s $140-million mini van paint shop investment solidifies the plant’s “longevity in our community as perhaps our most significant economic driver,” according to WCA executive director Jim Lyons.

“This is all good news for the city of Windsor,” says Magone.

In terms of the WCA, his goals are to “increase membership, and see some more involvement from our current members.”

A WCA board member since 2002, Magone is an active member of the association’s membership and education committees, as well as its Innovative Product Night, and annual golf tournament.

“Those are all things I’ll continue to be involved with,” says Magone. In addition to enjoying time on the golf course, the new WCA president enjoys family time with his wife, Sandy and his 14-year-old stepdaughter, Meigan.

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