Maker of medical test tubes files plans for $10 million plant expansion in Lawrence

photo by: Lauren Fox

A Plastikon Healthcare employee works in the Ultimate test tube suite, a room with two machines that produce test tubes in this 2020 file photo.

A Lawrence manufacturing plant that makes medical test tubes has filed plans to build a more than $10 million expansion that will nearly double the size of its local production facility.

Plastikon Industries has filed plans to construct a nearly 80,000-square-foot production facility and warehouse next to its existing manufacturing plant in the East Hills Business Park.

The plans filed with the city’s planning and development services office didn’t indicate how many new jobs may be associated with the larger facility, but the company has been posting employment growth for more than a year as the pandemic and other factors have led to increased demand for its tubes.

In September 2020, the Journal-World reported that Plastikon was adding 40 jobs at its Lawrence facility to bring its workforce total to about 120 people. That boost in employees came as a result of Plastikon adding a new production line to manufacture test tubes that will be used as part of the COVID-19 testing process.

In November, the Journal-World reported that Plastikon planned to produce 11 million test tubes per week and that the company had received $3 million of aid from the state as part of a program to assist companies that are producing products related to fighting the COVID virus.

The company at that time told Gov. Laura Kelly, who was touring the plant, that Plastikon was the largest producer of test tubes in the country and had aspirations to be the largest producer in the world.

The plans filed with the city didn’t specify whether the new space will be used for test tube production, or whether the Lawrence plant is moving into an additional line of business. The plans show a 79,034-square-foot building to be constructed just west of the company’s existing facility at 3780 Greenway Circle. The company has about an 85,000-square-foot manufacturing and office building on the site currently.

The new project would include a warehousing component. The building shows nine loading dock doors. In addition to its existing space, the company has been leasing warehouse space in the community, especially from the building at the entrance to Lawrence VenturePark. The new plans also are seeking pre-approval for a future phase of construction that would add 9,128 feet of additional manufacturing and warehouse space.

The plans call for construction on the 80,000-square-foot expansion to begin in spring 2022.

A representative with the city’s economic development office said the company hasn’t filed any applications for a tax abatement or other incentives for the project, and she said she had not received any information about how how many new jobs might be associated with the expansion.

A representative with the company on Monday did not respond to a request for more information about the project.


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