DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Lance Waldrop and Garland Ramsey, both from Brookhaven, frame one of the walls to a modular unit, just one step in a multi-layered assembly line process.
DAILY LEADER / JUSTIN VICORY / Lance Waldrop and Garland Ramsey, both from Brookhaven, frame one of the walls to a modular unit, just one step in a multi-layered assembly line process.

New facility builds ‘hotels to go’

Published 12:00pm Sunday, October 13, 2013

GoMotel Fabrication, a new business in town, geared up for production of modular living units and is providing some relief to job seekers in the area.

The 75,000-square-foot facility on 120 Bevon Road in Brookhaven opened in early June, and is already producing units for a contract in Odessa, Texas. GoMotel officials are waiting on word from the state of Texas for final confirmation; however, the Brookhaven plant is already putting units together.

The company’s operation in Brookhaven consists of fabricating portable, single to multi-person rooms, or modular units, that can be utilized by workforces in rural areas far away from traditional lodging facilities like motels and hotels. This is a major convenience for oil companies, etc., which often work in remote and sometimes barren, locations.

Inside the GoMotel, one gets the impression of an assembly line on steroids. Like an assembly line, the plant utilizes highly specialized carpenters, plumbers, electricians and welders in each phase of production. At one end of the plant, carpenters frame the floor. Once completed, the framed floor is then pushed by four to five workers to the next phase of assembly. From there, the plumber takes over until his work is done.

Then the unit is pushed down the line again on a series of wheeled tracks to the electrician, and so on until the unit enters a cordoned-off area for fiberglass coating. At this point, negative pressure tanks help circulate the air and make it safer for workers to breathe. The tanks also help eliminate the distinctive pungent smell of the fiberglass coating process.

Once completed, the units will be shipped to the particular worksite. Each individual unit will be positioned next to each other, resulting in what looks like a portable motel, hence the name GoMotel.

The company is able to customize each modular unit. “We can make living quarters for as many persons as necessary. Besides living units that come with a bathroom and living room, we can build office units, gyms, just about anything the client wants or needs,” says Jeff Wesenberg, general manager of the Brookhaven plant.

The GoMotel business is capable of providing amenities such as wi-fi, 24-hour security, catering and laundry facilities among other things. Or, just about everything that is necessary to make the worksite as livable as possible.

Wesenberg describes how the company has provided these units to workers on oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

The units were transported by a barge, and sit next to the actual platform.

Wesenberg says the modular unit business is highly competitive. Unlike other units, however, Wesenberg suggests the addition of fiberglass coating makes his company unique.

“Putting on a fiberglass exterior is what makes us different from the other guys,” Wesenberg remarked. Fiberglass coating provides an almost impervious shield, and is guaranteed to nearly last forever.

Before the company ships their units to the field, they research potential hazardous weather conditions, said Wesenberg. In the case of Odessa, shipped units will be able to withstand winds of up to 90 miles per hour, or the worst weather that can be thrown at them, given the location.

At the plant, nearly all of the 38 employees are Brookhaven residents. Most of the employees are highly specialized in their particular field, according to Wesenberg.

He said the plant will potentially be looking to hire additional persons to work at the plant, provided they have certain specialized skills. Besides hiring local work, he indicated the company is very interested in buying locally.

“Buying from local sources, and employing local people is something that is very important to our company. We will pay a little more locally, provided the product justifies it, to help support the community. After all, we are a part of it,” he said

Now that the plant is working out all the kinks, Wesenberg expects to roll out a new fully functional unit every other day. That equates to 15 units a month, if business allows.

“The sky’s the limit,” Wesenberg said. “As oil companies begin looking for more and more sources of domestic oil, our future will rise and fall according to their ability to seek oil in the U.S.”