Belmark project will get school land

District approves selling 2 acres

Plans for a much-anticipated manufacturing plant development near Hillcrest Primary School are getting an assist from the Shawano School District.

Members of the Shawano School Board have agreed to sell 2 acres of real estate for the Belmark Inc. facility projected to cost $36 million.

Planned along Engel Drive just east of the school, the 120,000-square-foot plant development was code-named “Project Dorothy” by local officials before Belmark announced its intentions last month.

The company says it will pay about $25,000 for the school district property so that the manufacturing facility is surrounded by sufficient green space to create the proper aesthetics.

“We’ll put it to good use,” said Jeff Dowd, director of sales and marketing for Belmark.

School Board members voted unanimously Monday night to approve the sale.

School Superintendent Gary Cumberland told board members that the district had no use for the surplus property, and that Belmark would pay the same $12,500-an-acre price that the district originally paid for the land.

“We do have an offer from the company at that price,” Cumberland said.

Belmark, based in De Pere, announced June 21 that it had chosen Shawano from among 100 potential sites in nine states for a new production facility. The company makes flexible packaging and related materials.

Belmark executives said they picked Shawano because of its small-town charm and its proximity to the De Pere headquarters.

Scheduled to begin construction next year, the manufacturing facility will occupy 15 acres currently owned by the city.

The additional 2 acres owned by the school district is east of the school, behind a row of trees that will separate the school campus from Belmark.

Shawano City Administrator Brian Knapp said the city controls another extra parcel — about 1 acre in size — that Belmark also hopes to acquire, in addition to the school property.

“It cleans up the site,” Knapp said, adding that he is pleased the school district has a hand in facilitating a major new business development in the community.

“It’s good for both the city and the school district, as well as Belmark,” he said.


- The Shawano School Board on Monday learned that Johnson School Bus Service Inc. has transferred Shawano manager Neal Hinz to another location and replaced him with Larry Slaght.