WHEELING — A South Wheeling business is planning a $3 million expansion of its facility — and that will mean more jobs for the Friendly City.

Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration, 42 38th St., has acquired land on the east side of its current building, which will allow the company to demolish its existing offices and build a two-story corporate office building, said Panhandle Vice President Robert Contraguerro Jr. Within the new office, employees will be trained and kept updated on the most modern restoration techniques and technologies.

Across the present alley, a 26,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art contents cleaning and storage plant will be built. This facility will be home to specialized equipment for cleaning items damaged by smoke, mold and other biological contaminates. Nearly any item found in homes, businesses and industrial settings may be cleaned in this new facility, which is climate controlled.

Contraguerro said temperature and humidity levels in the content cleaning and storage building will be observed to protect the contents. Storage and processing of items will be monitored through a computerized inventory system.

The new facility also will house drying chambers for area rugs, clothing and contents that must be dried after sustaining water damage. A deodorization chamber for smoke damaged items will also be on site.

Photo by William Daniel
Robert Contraguerro Sr., left, and Robert Contraguerro Jr. stand outside their Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration office in Wheeling. The company is planning a $3 million expansion in 2008.

The current 18,000-square-foot warehouse will be expanded and will store sealers, board-up materials and other chemicals necessary for restoration work. The present warehouse will store pumps, drying equipment, trucks and other tools and equipment the company uses to respond to emergency water, sewage and mold, fire and smoke damage losses.

All of the buildings will be connected and the alley will no longer be accessible.

Contraguerro said Panhandle’s new property will cover about 55,000 square feet.

“It’s a great investment in this area. This means jobs will stay here. Jobs will open with the new plant. There will be management and clerical positions,” he said.

Panhandle, based in Wheeling, handles residential and commercial restoration projects when damage occurs from water, flooding, or other disasters. Panhandle’s Catastrophe Team assists with natural disasters anywhere in the country, including hurricanes and floods. They own specialized equipment which is not readily available.

Completion of this project is scheduled for the summer of 2008.