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First class glass

image The 30,000-sf building stands out in its new location in Lockhart.

AUSTIN – Fashion Glass & Mirror LLC is a large glass manufacturing company based out of DeSoto, TX. They operate a handful of manufacturing facilities across the state of Texas, including one in a leased space in New Braunfels, which was not meeting their needs in terms of convenient day-to-day operations.

    Looking to build a brand new facility, President and CEO Larry Jaynes turned to Lockhart, TX. and Countywide Builders to take full advantage of the new SH 130 highway providing direct access to the Austin-San Antonio Corridor.
    “The relationship between our company and Mr. Jaynes was unique,” says Jim Smith, owner of Countywide. “We were on a fast-track and we started the project on a handshake before we had a contract. It was an old-school deal.”
    Fashion Glass & Mirror’s new facility is a 30,000-sf building that includes a 2,400-sf showroom and office space, as well as a large manufacturing and storage space and indoor, overnight parking for their delivery trucks.
    The project took six months and was finished in May 2015. The exterior is rock-faced block and the interior is sheetrock with polished concrete floors. Twenty-four foot Big Ass Fans keep the area cool.
    Winn Smith, Jim Smith’s son, was project manager on this project and Ron Metz was project superintendent. Architect was Steinbomer, Bramwell & Vrazel Architects (SBV), Austin. Engineer was Gallup Engineering, San Marcos.
    Jim Smith says Countywide and SBV have worked together on many projects and are currently on others.
    “They are excellent,” he says. “They are very responsive to our needs. Our relationship is very close.”
    SBV Architects says they worked closely with the client and Countywide to ensure that the building would be designed in the most economical way while also maximizing productivity and complying with the Lockhart Non-residential Appearance Standards.
    The north and south ends of the building have large overhead doors aligned to allow for the most efficient means for the delivery trucks to enter and exit the warehouse/manufacturing space. Energy efficiency was also an important aspect of the project. All of the lighting fixtures are LED and the project design includes many large, low-e, clerestory windows to full advantage of natural daylight, said Robert Steinbomer.
    Other members of the architectural design team were Amy Bramwell and Ben Pruett.
    As with many projects, Jim Smith says wet weather proved a challenge, but Countywide had a plan for that.
    “We try to get all concrete poured before we actually build the building,” he says. “That way we can maneuver around on pavement rather than mud. We were able to work a lot of days most people were sitting around.”
    Another challenge was met and conquered when there was steel delivery crisis, but Smith says his supplier, Hopson Builders Inc. in San Marcos, came through.
    “They are good folks,” he says.
    Smith’s parents, Winnon and Grace Smith, started Countywide Builders in 1971 in Lockhart and the company remains located there. Smith’s son, Winn Smith, is project manager at the company.
    The company has five employees and specializes in industrial and commercial building. The company also handles design-build, commercial remodeling, historical renovations, land development, sitework, and demolition projects.
    In the last year, Countywide has built two highly-technical dialysis centers for Fresenius Kidney Care and several doctor’s offices. –cw

Photography by Andrea Calo

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