The Durham Co. is expanding to this downtown building later this month.

In an effort to keep up with significant demand for its electrical utility products, the Durham Company’s Houston plant continues to expand.

This time the Lebanon-based firm will move into the southern portion of the former Lee building on Spruce Street. Houston plant manager Richard Peterson said a big new punching machine is being added to the existing north building off of North Industrial Drive, and that six fabricating machines will be moved to the new location. Durham has two manufacturing sites at the Houston Industrial Park off West Highway 17.

Peterson said the Durham Co. has leased the approximately 25,000 square foot space from the Houston Industrial Development Authority for up to two years, and that electricity was reconnected there over the weekend. He said six to eight employees will work there both days and nights and that the move might result in a handful of new hires.

Peterson said he expects production to be under way at the new space by the week of March 23.

“It’s not a long term deal, he said, “but we’re just covered up and we needed the place quickly.”

Durham is one of the community’s largest employers with more than 250 workers. Its main product is a metal box that provides an enclosure for electrical components.

Durham expanded from Lebanon to Houston about 20 years ago. It has grown significantly after moving for the first time into a speculative metal building constructed by the Houston Development Co. Since that time, employment has increased about six-fold.

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