BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County officials got some good news this week as they prepare for construction of the new Accuform Signs headquarters and manufacturing facility.
The county has been awarded a $1,061,094 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation for work at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport and Technology Center, south of Brooksville.
The specific project includes the realignment of Corporate Boulevard, adding a traffic signal at the intersection of Corporate Boulevard and Aerial Way and extending Technology Drive by 1,500 feet.
The new $15 million Accuform facility will be built at the Corporate/Aerial intersection, and the work is supposed to improve traffic flow and specifically help access to Accuform.
The grant comes through the state Economic Development Transportation Fund and is part of the incentive package for the Accuform expansion.
"We're very appreciative for this,'' said Michael McHugh, the county's business development manager.
The county is still waiting to hear about the status of another major grant. That is a Community Development Block Grant that will provide additional infrastructure for the project, including adding water and sewer and changing the drainage plan for the entire area surrounding the new facility.
The county has asked for $1.5 million for that work.
Accuform is building a structure three times the size of the space it currently occupies in another portion of the technology center, previously known as the airport's corporate, industrial and rail parks.
When completed, the Accuform structure will be more than 300,000 square feet and will house corporate offices and a manufacturing facility.
Accuform is an international corporation that makes a variety of road and safety-related signs. It boasts a catalog of more than 100,000 items, and half of its business is custom work.
Ground breaking is expected midyear, and it is estimated that construction will take one year. Over the coming years, Accuform plans to add 271 workers to the current staff of 293. Officials say they could eventually reach 600 staff members.
A family business started by Ron and Veronica Johnson in 1976, Accuform moved to Hernando County 10 years later with 21 employees.
Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.