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Laurentian multi-million dollar project moves forward

PLATTSBURGH - Laurentian Aerospace Corporation has secured funding it needs to take the next step in establishing a presence in the town of Plattsburgh.

Andrew Edwards, chief financial officer and senior vice president of finance for Laurentian, announced Verdant Capital Group LLC will invest, alongside the management group, the capital required to allow Laurentian to begin an estimated $175 million project to construct a state-of-the-art maintenance repair and overhaul facility for wide-body aircraft at the Plattsburgh International Airport.

"We could not be happier with the partnership that we struck with Verdant," said Edwards. "They share our vision of making this a world-class facility.

The securing of financing is considered the next step in the process for Laurentian locating a facility in the town, said Edwards, which has been a process that dates back to 2006.

The closing of the financing is subject to a number of conditions, said Edwards, including "Verdant's completion of final due diligence, the execution of definitive agreements and the absence of any material adverse change in the financial markets."

However, Edwards said Verdant and Laurentian are "confident" the transaction will be successfully completed on or before March 1, with construction of a single hangar facility expected to begin in April. Construction would take approximately 18 months after necessary engineering work is completed, said Andrews.

The new facility is expected to employ approximately 900 people within the first two years after construction is completed, said Andrews. The highest paid employees would likely be Federal Aviation Administration-certified mechanics, he added, who could earn somewhere between $75,000 and $80,000.

Rep. William L. Owens, D-Plattsburgh, applauded the efforts of all involved for getting Laurentian to this milestone.

"If there's an event that's going to change the face of Plattsburgh, it is this event," said Owens. "I'm happy for Laurentian, but, in truth, I'm most happy for Plattsburgh."

Edwards said he is enthusiastic about the progress made so far, but will celebrate when closing on the project's financing is finalized in March.

"The time for major kudos to all of the people who are involved will be at the closing dinner," said Edwards. "I've got to tell you, after four years, it's going to be some doozy when we get there."

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