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Tornado-Ravaged Plant Reopens Nearly Five Years Later

The entire community was shaken by the unexpected tornado outbreak.

An aerial photo of the renovated Lennox Marshalltown facility.
An aerial photo of the renovated Lennox Marshalltown facility.
Lennox

On July 19, 2018, a tornado hit Marshalltown, Iowa, causing significant damage to HVACR equipment maker Lennox's manufacturing facility. Luckily, all employees were safely sheltered from the storm. Last week, and nearly five years later, Lennox finally finished renovations at the plant. 

The new facility has about one million square feet of manufacturing and office space. The investments include upgraded infrastructure, more automated manufacturing equipment, a new office building and a museum showcasing the company's history of innovation over its 128 years in business. The company was founded by railroad machine repair businessman Dave Lennox in 1895.

The upgraded building infrastructure reportedly cost around $200 million and features several sustainable attributes, including the company's Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system.

The grand opening is not only a celebration for Lennox but also for the entire community that was shaken by the unexpected tornado outbreak. 

"Just days after the disaster, Lennox announced its decision to remain in Marshalltown and reconstruct this plant, said Gov. Kim Reynolds. "As governor, I want to thank Lennox for your commitment. After such a disaster, you could have chosen to relocate somewhere else, but you chose to stay because of your loyalty to the community and state." The governor called Lennox an "incredible comeback story."

Alok Maskara, Lennox CEO, discussed the company's "new chapter." He said, "This is a celebration of our commitment to customers, employees and our community. I am incredibly proud of the immense hard work and resilience our team has shown in the face of adversity."

The Lennox Board of Directors, joined by CEO Alok Maskara, and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (center), ceremoniously cut the ribbon to inaugurate the newly renovated facility in Marshalltown, Iowa, on Thursday July 13, 2023.The Lennox Board of Directors, joined by CEO Alok Maskara, and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds (center), ceremoniously cut the ribbon to inaugurate the newly renovated facility in Marshalltown, Iowa, on Thursday July 13, 2023.Lennox

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