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Omniglass rises again

LOCAL investors are reviving a Winnipeg window and door-frame manufacturer that had a devastating fire a year ago.

Omniglass Inc. closed its doors early last year after a $15-million fire. A U.S. firm that acquired Omniglass in 2010 decided not to revive the business after the fire.

But Structural Composite Technologies, a Winnipeg composite parts and equipment manufacturer, has acquired some of the equipment as well as the patents and processes of Omniglass and has resurrected it as Omniglass SCT.

Already, 10 of the former 65 Omniglass employees have been hired back, including the company's founder and former owner, Laurie Davies.

Omniglass was formed in 1983 and became a North American leader in pultrusion window profiles. It developed a patented technology to pull fibreglass through a resin, preshaper and die system, where it is heated and cured into a hard, stable, long-lasting product.

SCT owner John Zadro will own and operate Omniglass SCT along with its former general manager, Leroy Dankochik.

"Omniglass was a world leader in the field," Zadro said. "We are happy to take forward a couple of projects that were well on their way when the fire happened. We are looking forward to rolling out other ideas to the market."

Zadro said SCT was not initially interested in the Omniglass assets, but the former owners asked SCT to store some of the salvaged equipment at its Transcona facility and Zadro realized there might be an opportunity.

An official from another window and door company, who asked that his name not be used, said fibreglass frames are more expensive and occupy a relatively niche segment of the market, but it has shown continuous growth.

Zadro and Davies are attending the upcoming International Builders Show in Las Vegas, where Zadro said he hopes to rekindle interest in the company from former clients.

"We absolutely plan to grow and hire up more people," Zadro said.

Centrepoint phase to start

CONSTRUCTION of the next major component in the downtown Centrepoint development -- a 425-stall parkade and highrise condominium tower -- should begin within the next few weeks, a project official said Wednesday.

"I would expect it would be sometime within the next month or six weeks," said Cindy Rodych, vice-president of Stantec, the master planner and anchor office tenant for the $75-million 311 Portage Avenue at Centrepoint development, following an address to a Building Owners and Managers Association luncheon.

Rodych said the parkade site on Hargrave Street is ready for crews to begin pouring the foundation. They're just waiting for the contract to be awarded.

The luncheon was told the foundation and pile work has been completed on the first major component in the Longboat Development Corp./Artis Real Estate Investment Trust project.

That is a five-storey office/retail podium and a 15-storey Alt boutique hotel on the northwest corner of Portage Avenue and Donald Street. Crews are expected to start erecting the precast walls for the podium within the next month.

Rodych said the goal is to complete the parkade and most of the office/retail/hotel complex by the middle of next year. A start and finish date for the 14-storey, 168-unit condo tower, which will be built atop the south end of the parkade, hasn't been determined.

The two main-floor retail tenants in the office complex are Milestones Grill and Bar and Chino Librae, a new Asian/Latin fusion restaurant being developed by Pizzeria Gusto owner Bobby Mottola.

Meds-prep firm signs deal

A WINNIPEG company that makes a sterile automated intravenous (IV) compounding system that prepares medications for syringes and IV bags has signed a deal to design the total pharmacy operations for a large hospital in Turkey.

The arrangement between Intelligent Hospital Systems of Winnipeg and Dokuz Eylül University Hospital in Izmir, Turkey, is to develop a total dose solution for medication preparation and delivery at the 1,000-bed hospital in Turkey's third-largest city.

It is the Winnipeg company's first opportunity in Europe, and is believed to be the first time a pharmacy technology provider such as IH Systems has partnered with a hospital to develop a comprehensive pharmacy and dosing solution.

Niels Erik Hansen, CEO of IH Systems, said this partnership underscores the increasing importance of automation in pharmacy practice.

"We expect that the hospital will realize significant cost savings, enhance patient safety and increase the efficiency of medication preparation and delivery," Hansen said.

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 17, 2013 B4

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